A dozen former investors in Queen City Investments made emotional pleas in a federal courtroom Wednesday and will continue Thursday.
Their stories will be taking under advisement in the sentencing of Glen Galemmo, the man behind what's been called one of the largest Ponzi schemes in Ohio history.
The former Cincinnati money manager appeared in federal court at 9 a.m., an hour earlier than expected, regarding a forfeiture situation. He will also be sentenced on money laundering and wire fraud charges.
Galemmo pleaded guilty in January, admitting that he took millions of dollars from investors, but never invested it. According to court records, the amount was somewhere between $7 and $20 million, with as many as 200 victims.
And for the first time on Wednesday, a number of those victims shared publicly the impact their losses have had on their lives.
Former investor John Rush told U.S. District Judge Herman J. Weber there are two different Galemmos. He stated the first is the "Honorable Glen Galemmo," the man he considered a friend for nearly 15 years and invested with for 12. Rush also referred to what he calls the "Duplicitous Glen Galemmo," who he said deceived and defrauded more than 140 investors.
"The domino effect of his actions is deep and wide," Rush told the court.
Kara Guckenberger, the former president of the Friends for School for Creative and Performing Arts Fund, told the court that the fund which has existed since 1973 will be dissolved later this month.
The fund's board unanimously voted to use Glen Galemmo as the investor for endowments and donations. Guckenberger said the fund lost everything by trusting Galemmo.
She has spent the past year trying to fund raise, but said former donors have told her, "We can't trust you. You've lost your integrity and credibility."
Guckenberger said 1,500 local children depend on Friends for SCPA to fund lessons in the arts.
Officials said the financial crimes began in 2008 when Galemmo took in more than $100 million dollars of investors money. In 2013, the IRS seized control of Galemmo's business, Queen City Investments.
[Related: EXCLUSIVE: Glen Galemmo at center of alleged Ponzi scheme speaks out]
Just last week Galemmo asked for a shorter prison sentence for his crimes. Court records show Galemmo's attorneys believe a 6 year sentence would be sufficient, but not excessive. U.S. attorneys have asked for a much steeper sentence, 188 months.
Weber will make his ruling on sentence length, restitution and forfeiture of assets. That sentence is expected to be handed down Thursday.
FOX19 NOW will be in court again Thursday and keep you posted on any developments.
Copyright 2014 WXIX. All rights reserved.