The former owner of a bankrupt Orange County real estate investment firm was sentenced to 168 months in prison for operating a Ponzi scheme that cost his investors $169 million.
San Clemente-based Michael J. Stewart, 68, was also ordered Monday by U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney to pay $9,234,914 restitution to 120 victims in connection with his conviction on 11 counts of mail fraud in August 2015.
Stewart’s firm was Pacific Property Assets. Its business, which had offices in Long Beach and Irvine, raised money by refinancing and selling properties, according to U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker.
Stewart and his co-defendant John Packard used new money they raised to pay earlier investors.
Read the original article in MyNewsLA.com.