Ill. Man Sentenced To Prison In $340 Millionfraud Scheme
|By Naomi Nix, Chicago Tribune|
"As far as I'm concerned, his last breath should be behind bars," said Touchstone, who lost close to
Touchstone was reacting to an unusual deal Kelly worked out with federal prosecutors in which he pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud and would be released to his wife's residence in
U.S. District Judge
The judge had delayed the sentencing a day in order to be assured that electronic monitors would make it difficult for Kelly to flee after he is released to house arrest. As added insurance, several relatives co-signed a
"The best he can hope for is maybe another three years or four," Steinback said.
Moments before the sentence was imposed, Kelly, 63, who used a wheelchair to get around in the courtroom, offered a brief apology.
"I would like to again apologize to the victims, to my family for destroying their lives," he said in a clear, authoritative voice. "That's about all there is to say."
Prosecutors have called Kelly's scheme one of the largest investment frauds ever in federal court in
"It was simply, judge, a fraud of massive proportion," said Assistant U.S. Attorney
About a decade ago,
"At the time it didn't sound like something illegal," she said Thursday in a telephone interview from her residence in
The next week she checked with the attorney general in
A few months later, McDermott, now 81, and her husband, 90, invested about
"It got increasingly more difficult to communicate with them," she recalled. "Then the money stopped coming."
It would be years later before she learned the full extent of the Ponzi scheme.
The couple said they lost almost their entire investment -- money they had saved for decades and planned to use for travel and improvements to their house. But now they survive on about
"We don't have any money in the bank," she said. "Now I play this shuffle game: 'Who do I pay this week?'"
In a telephone interview Thursday, Touchstone said he had hoped to retire on some of his investment earnings and give a little to charity and his church. But since losing the bulk of his investment, he said he has cut his expenses significantly.
"I don't hate anybody. I just don't think he should have any freedom," Touchstone said. "He shut down my freedom in terms of what I could do with that money."
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