Local lawyer sentenced for role in $70M ponzi scheme

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A local lawyer was sentenced Friday for his role in a $70 million Ponzi scheme.

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio announced the sentencing Friday.

Benjamin Glassman said 62-year-old Steven Scudder of Centerville was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 14 months in prison and three years of supervised release for his role in a fraudulent investment scheme.

Scudder pleaded guilty to wire fraud on January 19 and admitted that he used his position as an attorney to facilitate the scheme operated by someone else.

Court documents show that between July 2013 and July 2014, Scudder served as a trustee of the WMA Trust, a land trust that purported to secure investments that individuals had made with William Apostelos. Scudder ultimately resigned from this position during mid-summer 2014. Scudder said Apostelos told him to continue to falsely hold himself out as the trustee of the WMA Trust until September 2014.

Based on Scudder’s false representations, an investment group of approximately 10 people in another state invested more than $1 million with Apostelos. Apostelos used the funds to pay earlier investors rather than investing the money as promised.

Apostelos pleaded guilty in February for conducting a $70 million Ponzi scheme that defrauded nearly 500 victims. He is scheduled for sentencing at 9:30 am on June 30.

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