Prosecutor: Ohioan pleads guilty to wire fraud in $1M scheme


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Federal authorities say an Ohio man charged in an investment fraud scheme involving more than $1 million has pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Monday that 42-year-old Mark Preston French entered the plea last week in U.S. District Court in Columbus.

A message left for French’s attorney wasn’t immediately returned Monday.

Court documents say the Westerville stock broker advised a Greenville, Pennsylvania, client in 2008 to open joint checking and savings accounts with him so he could buy and sell precious metals on her behalf. Authorities say French told the woman to deposit more than $1.3 million into the accounts and then embezzled thousands of dollars.

French could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison, fined and ordered to pay restitution.

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