$50 Million Ponzi Scheme in Southwest Ohio
Another multi-million dollar Ponzi Scheme in Ohio in 2014? It's hard to believe but it is true. Our law firm started receiving calls from victims of Ohio's latest Ponzi scheme several months ago. And, as we expected, William Apostelos is now under investigation by the FBI for a suspected Ponzi scheme that duped investors out of $50 million. According to court filings, Apostelos solicited investments from Miami valley residents and promised them large returns. He held himself out as a knowledgeable securities trader.
To solidify these "investments," Apostelos executed and delivered promissory notes to investors. The Notes were made payable in short periods of time, sometimes in a matter of months, with interest rates as high as 50 percent. The shell companies Apostelos used in the alleged scheme include Apostelos Enterprises Inc., Coleman Capital, Inc., Midwest Green Resources, LLC, WMA Enterprises, LLC, OVO Wealth Management, LLC and Silver Bridle Racing, LLC.
After collecting funds from investors, Apostelos made periodic payments to investors in an effort to purportedly follow through with his promise of large returns. However, instead of reflecting actual gains on investments, money from new investments was used to pay existing investors. Other investor money was used to fund an extravagant lifestyle that included buying racehorses and a $1 million farm in Clark County.
An affidavit filed in federal court revealed that, after a five-month investigation, at least 160 people from the Dayton metro area invested in the Ponzi scheme from November 2012 to May 2014. Apostelos deposited over $32 million into accounts he controlled, and the remaining $28 million went to pay earlier investors.
The scheme unraveled this year. The periodic payments to investors became less frequent, until they eventually stopped altogether. As a result, Apostelos defaulted on many of these notes. On October 14, 2014, Apostelos was forced into bankruptcy by several creditor-investors. The FBI investigation remains ongoing, and it could be awhile before official criminal charges are filed.