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Article updated: 7/21/2011 5:43 AM

Woodstock man gets 6 years for $5M investment scam

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A Woodstock man has been sentenced to six years in federal prison for defrauding 150 investors of $5 million and spending it on luxuries like a $75,000-a-year skybox for Indianapolis Colts games.

Scott M. Ross, 42, will begin serving his sentence on Oct. 18.

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He pleaded guilty in March to one count of mail fraud and also must pay $3.7 million in restitution as ordered by U.S. District Judge William Hibbler on Tuesday.

Michael Gurland, an attorney for a receiver appointed by the Securities and Exchange Commission to manage Ross's businesses after his arrest, said investors primarily were from Chicago and the suburbs. Victims actually seeing any of that money is unlikely, officials said.

Gurland said Ross's business and personal assets have been liquidated for $2.7 million, which has been distributed to investors.

Gurland said Ross has no more significant assets that can be applied toward the restitution.

Authorities said Ross owned and operated Harbor Wealth Management LLP and two subsidiaries that supposedly engaged in the insurance investment business from a Schaumburg office.

Between 2006 and 2009, Ross' businesses offered and sold investments to the public in three investment funds, one of which was supposedly invested in a company developing a dual-sided computer monitor.

Authorities said Ross, who gave himself a $319,000 annual salary, made bogus statements to investors about his business and investment background along with the risks involved. He even promised a 34-percent return on investment on some funds and made Ponzi-scheme payments to investors who complained.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Langner said the maximum sentence Ross could have received was 20 years and that defense attorneys argued for five years probation.

Prosecutors sought a sentence between 6 and 8 years, Langner said.

The FBI arrested Ross last November.

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