87-month prison term given to Iowa Ponzi schemer

Published On: Jan 17 2013 12:28:46 PM CST
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -

An Ottumwa man has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud and tax evasion.

John Holtsinger, who is 52, sought a sentence closer to four years, but Judge James Jarvey says the seriousness of his crime justifies more prison time.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Locher says Holtsinger defrauded many of his friends and neighbors out of their entire life savings by claiming he would invest their money. Instead, he used most of it to pay living expenses, take trips, and access online dating sites.

Holtsinger also must pay more than $940,000 in restitution to the victims. Two spoke at the sentencing Thursday about how they considered Holtsinger a trusted friend and he left them financially devastated.

Holtsinger declined to talk.