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Man charged in Ponzi scheme pleads out

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- MONEY MAN :  Leonard Delk faces up to 10 years in prison after pleading no contest to charges of bilking SLO County residents out of almost $3 million over a period of four years. -  - PHOTO COURTESY OF SLO SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF SLO SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT
  • MONEY MAN : Leonard Delk faces up to 10 years in prison after pleading no contest to charges of bilking SLO County residents out of almost $3 million over a period of four years.
The Los Osos man who prosecutors say duped 28 people out of nearly $3 million in a Ponzi scheme pleaded no contest to all charges against him.

On Oct. 12, with one of his victims looking on, Leonard Adolph Delk, 82, pleaded to eight felony charges of grand theft by embezzlement and unlawful sales of securities.

Delk sat in a wheelchair for the entirety of the hearing, clad in an orange jumpsuit, responding only briefly that he understood he was waiving
his right to a trial and admitting his guilt to
the charges.

According to a 2008 desist and refrain order by the California Department of Corporations, Delk owned and operated two businesses, LAD Management, Inc. which was incorporated in Nevada; and LAD Management Company, Inc., an entity doing business out of Delk’s Los Osos residence.

According to the order, Delk told investors their money would be used as collateral so he could trade larger sums in various stock markets, promising an 18 to 23 percent annual return on investments, to be paid in monthly interest payments. The department said investors had not received a payment since July 2007.

Delk was arrested in 2009. He faces up to 10 years in state prison and restitution to his victims in an amount yet to be determined. He’s due back in court for sentencing Dec. 7.

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