Tuesday, May 22, 2018
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Company founder wants out of prison

Ex-executive defrauded investors out of millions


Former West-haven executive John Ulmerhas served five years of a 10-year sentence that he received in 2009.

The Blade
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The founder of the Westhaven Group, LLC, who defrauded investors of millions of dollars, wants an early release from prison.

John Ulmer, who turns 68 next week, has served five years of the 10-year prison sentence he received in Lucas County Common Pleas Court in 2009. On Wednesday, his attorney, Jerry Phillips, filed a motion for judicial release, stating in part that Ulmer “has potential employment, once released, which could assist in paying the court ordered restitution in this matter.”

Initially indicted on some 37 counts, Ulmer ultimately pleaded no contest to four counts each of sale of unregistered securities, false statements in the sale of securities, and failure to disclose the insolvency of the securities issuers.

In addition to the prison sentence, Judge Stacy Cook ordered him and his son, Scot Ulmer, to pay $15,065,692 in restitution as part of a plan to repay the investors they bilked. To date, John Ulmer has paid no restitution, while Scot Ulmer has paid $8,075, according to the Clerk of Courts office.

Kevin Pituch, an assistant Lucas County prosecutor, said he would not oppose Ulmer’s release because of a promise made at the time of the plea agreement that prosecutors would not oppose early release for Ulmer after he served five years.

Both Scot Ulmer and co-defendant Roger Morr were released from prison in June, 2011, after serving slightly more than two years of their four-year sentences. Judge Cook placed each of them on community control for five years, ordered Scot Ulmer to serve 90 days in the Lucas County Work Release Program, and reminded both that they were still responsible for paying restitution. Morr had been ordered to pay $1,561,000 in restitution, and to date has paid $3,675, according to the clerk's records.

Scot Ulmer was president of Westhaven until the company’s collapse, while Morr was an investment adviser for the company from January, 2004, until July, 2005. A fourth co-defendant, Anthony Garzony, who was president of Westhaven before Scot Ulmer, pleaded no contest to one count of sale of unregistered securities and was sentenced to five years community control, including 90 days of work release, 150 hours of community service, and $20,000 restitution. To date, he has paid $12,500.

Attorney Gerald Kowalski, the former court-appointed receiver for the case, said that through the sale of Westhaven’s real estate holdings and other assets, the court recovered about $9 million that was distributed to investors.

Some $20.5 million still is owed and potentially would be repaid through the restitution ordered as part of the four men’s sentences, Mr. Kowalski said.

Westhaven, which bought, repaired, and sold properties, attracted investors with the promise of a secured investment and high returns. When the company dissolved, investors discovered that property on which they believed they held a mortgage was in someone else's name or, in some cases, did not exist.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at: jfeehan@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.

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