CLEVELAND (WJW) — Nearly 100 people were schemed out of a combined more than $800,000 by a North Royalton man, prosecutors said.
Paul Lebo, 40, was indicted on a count of wire fraud in the alleged years-long investment fraud scheme, according to a news release from Michelle Baeppler, first assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.
Between April 2017 and October 2021, Lebo took deposits from 99 investors, claiming it was for future equity ownership in his hedge fund, Paul Kimmins Investments and various trade options, according to court documents.
But he allegedly used the money on himself and to repay earlier investors, prosecutors said.
The hedge fund itself was insolvent. Lebo concealed the misuse of funds by making up shell companies that essentially did nothing, then lied to his victims about their investments, according to prosecutors.
He spent more than $49,000 in funds from relatives to repay investors who invested or gave him loans, and took more than $18,000 from seven people to sell something that was “never delivered,” the release states.
Federal court records show Lebo was initially charged in 2021. He was given a $20,000 unsecured bond. An indictment was returned this month.
No further court dates have been set.