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Two former Westhaven officials seek early release from prison

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Scot Ulmer, left, and Roger Morr filed motions to be released from prison. They each pledged to gain employment to help them pay back millions in restitution.

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Two members of the former Westhaven group, each serving four-year prison terms for defrauding hundreds of real estate investors, once again have requested they be granted early release.

Attorneys for Scot Ulmer and Roger Morr filed the motions this month in Lucas County Common Pleas Court. The requests note that on March 24, the men each will have served at least half of their sentences behind bars.

Ulmer and Morr were among four Westhaven officials who entered pleas in February, 2009, on multiple charges of securities fraud and making false statements.

Also convicted was Ulmer’s father, Westhaven founder John Ulmer, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and Anthony Garzony, a former Westhaven president, who was ordered to serve five years of community control and to make $20,000 in restitution.

The Ulmers were ordered to pay more than $15 million in restitution. Morr was ordered to pay $1.6 million in restitution.

As of Thursday, Judge Stacy Cook had not set a hearing to consider the motions for judicial release.

The younger Ulmer and Morr each had filed an initial request for early release late in 2009 but withdrew the motions after the prosecutor’s office filed memorandums opposing the requests. At the time, the office noted that each of the defendants had served less than a year of their sentences.

Thursday, Assistant Prosecutor Kevin Pituch said that he would honor the initial agreement that stated the office would not oppose judicial release but only after the men had served at least half of their prison sentences. Mr. Pituch noted that victims would not be precluded from objecting to an early release.

In the business of buying, fixing, and selling properties, Westhaven attracted investors with the promise of a secured investment and high returns. Specifically, Westhaven promised that investor money was backed by the mortgage on a real property.

Only when the company was shuttered by the state in 2005 did many investors discover that property on which they believed they owned a mortgage was in fact in someone else’s name or in some cases did not exist.

Although the company’s assets were liquidated and the proceeds dispersed, most Westhaven investors lost most, if not all, the money they invested, prompting numerous civil lawsuits.

In a statement supporting his motion for early release, attorney Alan Konop noted that “Scot Ulmer, if released from custody, will have gainful employment enabling him to begin making restitution.”

Also added to the request was a letter from a Maumee-based company, Great Reward LLC, informing Judge Cook that Ulmer would be employed by the company if released and that he could expect to make “in the $80,000 to $120,000 range annually.”

In the motion filed by Morr’s attorneys, it was also promised that Morr would “secure employment” if released. The attorneys also noted that Morr’s health had deteriorated and that a release would allow him to seek “all medical options available to address his health care needs.”

The elder Ulmer, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison, would not be eligible for judicial release until he has served at least five years in prison.

Contact Erica Blake at:
eblake@theblade.com
or 419-213-2134.

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