Va. man sentenced for running $5M Ponzi scheme

AP News
Posted: Nov 06, 2009 2:19 PM

A Virginia man will spend more than seven years in prison for running a Ponzi scheme that bilked more than $5 million from more than 30 investors.

John Mark Donnelly was sentenced Friday in federal court.

The 53-year-old Donnelly had pleaded guilty in May to wire fraud, securities fraud, fraud in connection with futures contracts and impeding the administration of federal tax laws.

According to court records, Donnelly marketed a complex trading strategy to investors but rarely traded the money he received. Instead, he distributed the money to other investors.

Donnelly also sent tax forms and fictitious monthly statements to investors. Prosecutors said many investors paid taxes on investment returns that didn't exist.