Marion Man Sentenced for Conducting Investment Fraud Scheme
COLUMBUS, Ohio – John Richard Blazer, 71, of Marion, Ohio, was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 33 months in prison for orchestrating multiple investment fraud schemes. Blazer pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering in December 2016.
Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and Angela L. Byers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division, announced the sentence handed down today by U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson.
According to the Statement of Facts in this case, from approximately January 2011 until August 2013, Blazer owned and operated several businesses in central Ohio, including The Ohio Company and The Ohio Company Loan Fund. He was also a partner in The Ohio Heritage Fund.
Blazer recruited investors by promising them that their money would be invested in one of his businesses, or in a real estate fund to purchase and rehabilitate homes in central Ohio, which would then be leased through a Section 8 housing program with the government, or in a gold mining operation in Africa that had the potential to produce significant amounts of gold and diamonds.
Rather than investing the victims’ funds, Blazer used the money to pay for personal expenses and to partially re-pay other victims.
In total, he received at least $1 million from approximately 21 victims.
As part of his sentence, Blazer was also ordered to pay full restitution to the victims.
U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by the FBI and Assistant United States Attorney Jessica H. Kim, who is representing the United States in this case.
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