A former Ameriprise Financial Inc. broker who worked in communities near Chicago was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for using money from more than 30 victims to run a Ponzi scheme and to pay off his gambling debts, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

Oscar Donald Overbey Jr. defrauded the victims of $4 million between 1996 and 2007. He pleaded guilt to wire fraud last February. He used money from investors to pay new investors and to pay for his personal expenses, including gambling losses, the U.S. attorney says.

Overbey, 47, of Country Club Hills, a suburb of Chicago, was ordered to pay more than $3 million in restitution by U.S. District Judge Gary S. Feinerman, who imposed the sentence Thursday in Federal Court. After he serves his sentence, Overbey will be on supervised release for three years and will be prohibited from gambling or visiting casinos or racetracks.
According to court documents, Overbey convinced investors to put money into short-term, government-backed investments that supposedly paid 10 percent interest.  Instead of investing the money, he used it for himself and to make Ponzi-type payments to other victims.

“The victims placed their trust in [Overbey], but never had a chance. [Overbey] abused that trust and misused his education and skills as an investment advisor to benefit himself and to keep his scheme going,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Kohler says.