Michigan man sentenced in second county for Ponzi scheme - WNEM TV 5

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Michigan man sentenced in second county for Ponzi scheme

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Joel Wilson Joel Wilson
BAY CITY, Mich. (AP) -

A 33-year-old Michigan man convicted of defrauding investors of millions of dollars in what prosecutors described as a Ponzi scheme has been sentenced in a second Mid-Michigan county.

Joel Wilson,33, of Saginaw was convicted in January in a Saginaw County courtroom of charges including securities fraud. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced on Feb. 23 he was sentenced to 6 years, 9 months, to 10 years in prison for securities fraud and selling unregistered securities.

He was also sentenced to 5 years with credit served for 2-and-a-half-years on a third charge of larceny by conversion. Wilson is also required to pay more than $250,000 in restitution plus state and court fees.

A lawyer for Wilson had said Wilson simply failed with his businesses and had no criminal intent.

Last year, Wilson was sentenced in Bay County to more than 8 years to 20 years in prison and ordered to pay $6.5 million.

He was the owner of The Diversified Group Advisory Fund LLC. Schuette says that beginning in 2009 Wilson scammed investors, telling them he would use their funds to purchase distressed properties in Saginaw and Bay City areas. The properties would later be refurbished and sold for profit, which would go to investors.

Schuette says when funds collected from the sales of the unregistered securities failed to turn a profit, he used new investor funds to pay returns to previous investors. Schuette also claims Wilson pocketed about $600,000 of the investment funds to pay his personal expenses and acquire assets.

The first conviction came after Wilson was extradited from Germany in 2014.

The sentence from Saginaw County will be served concurrently with the Bay County sentence.

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