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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Ohio

Friday, June 9, 2017

Local Attorney Sentenced for Wire Fraud Related to $70 Million Ponzi Scheme

DAYTON – Steven Scudder, 62, 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 fraudulent investment scheme operated by someone else.


Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Ryan L. Korner, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation, Angela L. Byers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Joseph Rivers, Regional Director of the U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration, James Vanderberg, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Labor Office of the Inspector General and Christopher White, Assistant Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service announced the sentence handed down today by U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Rose.


Court documents state that between July 2013 and July 2014, Scudder served as 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 instructed 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 9:30am on June 30.


U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the cooperative law enforcement investigation of this case, as well as Assistant United States Attorney Brent G. Tabacchi, who is representing the United States in this case.


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Updated June 9, 2017