Lawyer charged after alleged $70M Ponzi scheme faces court date

Attorney Steven Scudder is scheduled for an arraignment and change of plea hearing on a federal charge related to an alleged $70 million Ponzi scheme run by William and Connie Apostelos.

Scudder was charged by bill of information with wire fraud, according to documents filed in Dayton’s U.S. District Court.

RELATED: Apostelos trial scheduled for February

Scudder’s plea hearing originally was scheduled for June but was continued after a request by federal prosecutors, who said there was a chance of a plea in the case.

Scudder’s hearing now is scheduled for Wednesday in the courtroom of U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Rose. Attorney Keith Yeazel, who represents Scudder, declined to comment about the case.

RELATED: Alleged Ponzi scheme victim file suit against PNC

Apostelos and his wife, Connie, were indicted on 27 counts alleging that the Springboro couple bilked nearly 500 investors out of tens of millions of dollars in a Ponzi scheme during at least a five-year period from 2009 to 2014.

The information about Scudder states that from July 2013 until July 2014, Scudder served as the trustee of the WMA Trust, a land trust that secured funds from WMA Enterprises, a purported investment firm.

Scudder resigned from his position in mid-2014 but held himself out as trustee of the WMA Trust through September 2014, the document alleged:

“Steven Scudder and others known to the United States Attorney, acting with intent to defraud, knowingly and intentionally devised, executed, and participated in a scheme to defraud investors and to obtain money and property owned by and under the custody and control of investors.”

The information includes a record of a September 2014 interstate phone call from Scudder to another person as proof of wire fraud.

William Apostelos’ sister and her daughter — Rebekah E. Fairchild and Rebekah L. Riddell, respectively — each pleaded guilty in February to one count of conspiracy.

A 30-page complaint alleged that William Apostelos “portrayed himself as a sophisticated investor and businessman, and he exploited his network of clients, business associates, and friends to attract new investors.”

William and Connie Apostelos’ trial is currently scheduled for Feb. 6.

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