Ottumwa man to be sentenced in federal court

John Holtsinger, 52, Ottumwa.

An Ottumwa man has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud and tax evasion.

John Holtsinger, who is 52, sought a sentence closer to four years, but Judge James Jarvey says the seriousness of his crime justifies more prison time.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Locher says Holtsinger defrauded many of his friends and neighbors out of their entire life savings by claiming he would invest their money. Instead, he used most of it to pay living expenses, take trips, and access online dating sites.

Holtsinger also must pay more than $940,000 in restitution to the victims. Two spoke at the sentencing Thursday about how they considered Holtsinger a trusted friend and he left them financially devastated.

Holtsinger declined to talk.

An Ottumwa man will be sentenced Thursday in federal court after pleading guilty to wire fraud and tax evasion.

The Associated Press is reporting that prosecutors are seeking a 7-year prison term for John Holtsinger, who ran a Ponzi scheme that duped friends and neighbors out of their life savings.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Locher asked for an 87-month prison sentence Wednesday, the high end of the recommended range. Locher says that Holtsinger's conduct in marketing himself as a savvy investment manager when he was running a Ponzi scheme was, "egregious and victimized many people."

Losses in the case totaled about $1 million. Locher says victims "almost certainly will never recover from the emotional and financial harm."

Holtsinger's attorney is asking the court for a sentence toward the low end of the recommended sentence, which is 4 years.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.