Former Employees Plead Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Wire and Mail Fraud in Connection with Alleged $70 Million Ponzi Scheme
DAYTON, Ohio – Rebekah Riddell, 30, of Dayton, Ohio, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, and Rebekah Fairchild, 53, also of Dayton, Ohio, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud today in U.S. District Court. Riddell’s and Fairchild’s guilty pleas were both in connection with an alleged $70 million Ponzi scheme.
Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Guy A. Ficco, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office, Angela L. Byers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Christopher White, Assistant Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, James Vanderberg, U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration, and Brian Peters, Enforcement Attorney, Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Securities, announced their guilty pleas entered into Friday before Judge Thomas M. Rose.
Riddell and Fairchild pleaded guilty in connection to the case involving William M. Apostelos, 54, and Connie M. Apostelos, 50, both formerly of Springboro, Ohio. A grand jury in the Southern District of Ohio returned a multi-count indictment against William and Connie Apostelos in October 2015. An indictment merely contains allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law. William and Connie Apostelos’ trial is currently scheduled to begin in May 2016.
The indictment alleges that beginning in 2009, and continuing for at least five years, the couple and others orchestrated a Ponzi scheme in the Dayton area in which nearly 480 investors lost more than $30 million collectively. William Apostelos operated and oversaw multiple purported investment and asset management companies in the Dayton area, including WMA Enterprises, LLC, Midwest Green Resources, LLC and Roan Capital. He allegedly falsely reported that he held a degree in mathematics and was a registered securities broker.
Connie Apostelos, also known as Connie Coleman, also operated and oversaw multiple companies in the Dayton area, including Coleman Capital, Inc. and Silver Bridle Racing, LLC. These companies were allegedly financed through improper use of investor funds that were intended to be invested with and through William Apostelos’ companies.
The couple allegedly recruited investors from 37 states to invest in WMA and Midwest Green, telling the investors that their money would be used for acquiring stocks or securities, purchasing real estate or land, providing loans to business and buying gold and silver.
Riddell and Fairchild were employed at Midwest Green and WMA from at least August 2009 until October 2014. In order to perpetuate the scheme, they engaged in a variety of activities, including wiring later investors’ money into earlier investors’ bank accounts and providing investors (at the direction of William and Connie Apostelos) with false and fraudulent excuses for non-payment to investors.
Riddell and Fairchild each face a potential maximum sentence of five years in prison.
U.S. Attorney Stewart commended the investigation of this case by law enforcement, and Assistant United States Attorneys Brent G. Tabacchi and Alex R. Sistla, who are prosecuting the case.