A former independent financial advisor from Roanoke, Va., who bilked mostly senior citizens out of nearly $1 million, was sentenced to 40 months in prison Wednesday.

Michael D. Leamnson, 56, waived his right to be indicted and pled guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud in October. He was sentenced in federal District Court in Lynchburg, Va., according to the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia Timothy J. Heaphy.

Leamnson promised his investors high investment returns but also said their money would be safe and accessible. Many of those he got to invest through his firm, Capital Creation, were senior citizens, Heaphy says.

Instead of investing the money, Leamnson used the money for his personal expenses and for outside business interests, including a small concrete company, and to pay interest to early investors.

“In perpetrating his long-running Ponzi scheme, Mr. Leamnson stole money from his elderly clients and deprived many of their life savings,” Heaphy says.