- Associated Press - Monday, July 20, 2015

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) - U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley says a Lake Charles man has pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in a $5.8 million Ponzi scheme.

She says 54-year-old John Steven Blount of Professional Consultants LLC admitted that regulators barred him in 2003 from working as an investment adviser, but he did so from June 2007 to December 2014. Finley says Blount put money from at least 73 investors into his own bank accounts and used about $1.7 million of it to pay earlier investors.

Finley says most victims were Louisiana and Texas Gulf Coast retirees.

Blount is to be sentenced Oct. 22. He could get up to 20 years in prison, an $8.4 million fine and an order to repay his victims.

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