- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 22, 2014

BALTIMORE (AP) - A federal Baltimore judge has sentenced a Delaware man convicted of defrauding more than two dozen investors and evading taxes to 15 years in prison and ordered him to pay nearly $20 million in restitution.

Forty-five-year-old Patrick Belzner of Selbyville was sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty to the charges.

Prosecutors say Belzner and associates across the country defrauded 26 investors through a fraudulent scheme, promising to pay lenders substantial fees or interest for loaning them money for real estate projects.

Instead of paying them back, prosecutors say Belzner and his associates used investors’ money to pay for personal and business expenses, and tried to conceal the fraud with false bank statements. In all, prosecutors say the scheme netted about $19.8 million, the same amount Belzner was ordered to pay back.

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