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Lake Forest Man Sentenced to 12.5 Years in Prison for Ponzi Scheme

Lake Forest resident John E. Walsh, 63, has been sentenced to 12.5 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to fraud charges for operating a Ponzi-type scheme dating back to 2007.

Walsh was sentenced just a day before his partner, Charles G. Martin, 46, formerly of Glencoe, was hit with a 17 year prison sentence on Thursday (Feb. 2). Together, their business, One World Capital Group, LLC, hooked 1,000 investors worldwide to lose nearly $17 million.

According to a press release from the U.S. Attorneys Office, both men were arrested and charged in January 2009 and chose to cooperate with the government and pleaded guilty in May 2011 to wire and commodities fraud and tax evasion counts.

Martin and Walsh formed One World Capital Group, LLC, in 2005, in Winnetka, and added an office in New York.

In December 2007, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) obtained a court order prohibiting further trading activity and freezing the firm’s remaining assets, which totaled $677,932.

At the same time, One World had approximately $17,654,486 in unpaid customer liabilities. The CFTC and the National Futures Association assisted in the investigation.