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Ball State receives about $695K in restitution from Florida man convicted of securities fraud

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MUNCIE, Indiana — Ball State University has received nearly $695,000 in restitution from one of two men convicted of stealing $13.1 million from the university.

On Tuesday, the school announced that it had received the check from Seth Beoku Betts of Florida, who's currently serving a 51-month prison term for securities fraud. But it has yet to recoup restitution from George Montolio of New York, who was convicted of wire fraud, The (Muncie) Star Press (http://tspne.ws/1TVtGYh ) reported.

Ball State wrote off $2.9 million of the total $13.1 million lost in fiscal year 2011 and wrote off the remainder in fiscal year 2014, according to Ball State treasurer Bernard Hannon.

The university will continue cooperating with federal law enforcement to recover any additional funds to help offset some of the written-down losses, he said.

A third suspect in the case, former Ball State director of cash and investments Gale Prizevoits, is the subject of a criminal investigation by Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson's office. He's accused of concealing the illegal investment of university funds.

During his sentencing hearing, Betts told the federal judge, "For all intents and purposes, I'm a pauper. I'm destitute. I'm broken ... You will never see me in front of you ever again. That's all I have to say."

Betts was accused of stealing $8.165 million from Ball State and investing some of the money in highly risky collateralized mortgage obligations. He sold a home he purchased in Palm Beach County, Florida, with money he stole from the university to cover part of the restitution he owes.

Although court records indicate Montolio hasn't made restoration payments, he forfeited Mike Tyson-autographed boxing gloves, a Mickey Mantle-autographed baseball glove and New York City apartment buildings to the government.

"Just, I apologize to my family, my parents, my fiancée and also apologize to all of the corporations I have defrauded," Montolio said at his sentencing hearing.

He was accused of having investors wire millions of dollars into an account he controlled to purportedly purchase U.S. Treasury STRIPS, but he never purchased any Treasury STRIPS and instead used the money to buy real estate and other assets.


Information from: The Star Press, http://www.thestarpress.com

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