Former Summit County man imprisoned for Ponzi scheme ran similar scam in Dillon
John Sposato, a former Summit County resident who currently resides in Louisiana, was sentenced on Nov. 30 after pleading guilty to running a Ponzi scheme that defrauded at least 48 investors of more than $800,000 since 2010, according to court documents. Sposato ran a similar scheme in Dillon in 1991, for which he was convicted of fraud and sentenced to two years in prison. His Facebook page says he graduated from Summit High School in 1978.
Sposato’s lawyer in the Dillon scam was disbarred in 1996 for his role in helping defraud a retired schoolteacher in Florida of $120,000, the bulk of his life savings. Sposato and his lawyer spent all but $510.17 of that money in a month on personal expenses and debts. Court documents describe Sposato as “the consummate con artist.”
In the Louisiana scheme, Sposato lured investors with promises of “guaranteed,” extraordinarily high-return investments, including oil remediation work in the Gulf of Mexico and the purchase of 1 million gallons of fertilizer. Instead, court documents say, Sposato used the money for personal expenses and gifts for various friends, including a Chevrolet Camaro for his girlfriend and breast augmentation surgery for a second girlfriend.
When payments to investors were delayed, Sposato made a range of excuses, including family illnesses, weather and issues with international financial institutions where the funds were supposedly invested. He also made “lulling” payments to restive investors with other people’s money and used bogus documents to make the investments appear legitimate.
He was sentenced to 7 years in prison and ordered to pay $2,559,725 in restitution.
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