U.S. Seeks 7-year term for Iowa man in Ponzi scheme

Prosecutors are seeking a 7-year prison term for an Iowa man who ran a Ponzi scheme that duped friends and neighbors out of their life savings.

John Holtsinger of Ottumwa will be sentenced Thursday in federal court in Des Moines after pleading guilty to wire fraud and tax evasion.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Locher asked for an 87-month prison sentence Wednesday, the high end of the recommended range. He says Holtsinger’s conduct in marketing himself as a savvy investment manager when he was running a Ponzi scheme was egregious and victimized many people.

Losses totaled about $1 million. Locher says victims “almost certainly will never recover from the emotional and financial harm.”

Holtsinger’s attorney is asking for a sentence toward the low end of the recommended sentence, about 4 years.