- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 21, 2010

BALTIMORE (AP) - A former Maryland resident has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for bilking online investors out of more than $17 million.

Thirty-four-year-old Byron Brown of Vienna, Va., was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. In addition to the prison term, he was ordered to pay $9.8 million in restitution.

U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein says Brown used the Internet to make it look like he was running an investment management business for wealthy clients. In reality, Rosenstein says Brown was stealing millions of dollars and using it to buy a fleet of luxury cars.

According to testimony, Brown ran a series of websites with names like In God We Trust Financial Services. He presented himself as an experienced investment manager, but prosecutors say he was running a Ponzi scheme.

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