Feds: Ohio Businessman Accused in Fraud Scheme Pleads Guilty

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Federal authorities say an Ohio businessman has pleaded guilty in an investment fraud scheme in which he received at least $1 million from about 21 investors.

The statement from the U.S. attorney for Ohio’s southern district says 70-year-old John Blazer pleaded guilty Wednesday in Columbus to single counts of wire fraud and money laundering and could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison on each one.

A message seeking comment was left at Blazer’s attorney’s office Wednesday.

Court records say the Marion man owned several Ohio businesses from 2011 until August 2013 and promised to put investors’ money in his businesses or in other enterprises, including a gold mining operation in Africa.

Authorities say Blazer instead used investors’ money for personal expenses and to pay off previous investors.