John Holtsinger of Ottumwa, Iowa Pleads Guiltiy to Million Dollar Ponzi Style Scam

Iowa Man Pleads Guilty to Scamming Investors Out of $1.1M

John Francis Holtsinger, of Ottumwa, is on his way to prison for scamming Iowa investors out of $1.1 million in an investment scheme that authorities say ran from 2005 to 2012.

To orchestrate the scheme, Holtsinger misrepresented himself as a well-connected and experienced investment manager, and even went so far as to claim that he had elite ties to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Options Exchange, according to the Omaha World-Herald. Clients who invested with him believed he was placing their funds in investment accounts on their behalf. Instead, Holtsinger used the majority of investors’ funds for his personal expenses and to pay back earlier investors whose funds he had misappropriated.

In court, Holtsinger admitted to exhausting virtually all of his clients’ funds. He also admitted that he then attempted to conceal his fraudulent activity by falsely claiming that state or federal authorities had frozen the funds, and told investors that anyone cooperating with law enforcement officers would not be repaid. He also instructed them to describe their investments with him as “interest free loans.”

Holtsinger pled guilty last Friday to five counts of wire fraud and one count of tax evasion in connection to the scheme. His sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 17, 2013. He faces between four and seven years in prison. He also will be required to pay an as-of-yet unspecified amount of restitution, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. For more information, click here.


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