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Published: Thursday, 4/24/2014

Westhaven’s founder denied prison release

John Ulmer has served half of term

John Ulmer has served five years of the 10-year prison sen-tence he received in 2009. John Ulmer has served five years of the 10-year prison sen-tence he received in 2009.

Westhaven Group foun-der John Ulmer will not be getting out of prison just yet.

Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Stacy Cook denied his request for judicial release without stating a reason.

Ulmer, 68, has served five years of the 10-year prison sentence he received in 2009 for defrauding investors out of millions of dollars. As part of the plea agreement he entered into at that time, prosecutors said they would not oppose his release from prison once he served five years.

Ulmer’s attorney, Jerry Phillips, said he was surprised the motion he filed April 2 was denied Tuesday without a hearing.

“I’m surprised because the original plea agreement proposed judicial release for all the defendants at various times, and the judge has previously granted judicial release for the other two defendants,” Mr. Phillips said. “And, pursuant to the plea agreement, the state did not object to this motion.”

He said he would likely file a new motion for Ulmer’s release.

Ulmer’s company bought, repaired, and sold properties, luring investors with the promise of a secured investment and high returns. When the company collapsed, investors discovered the property on which they believed they held a mortgage either was in someone else’s name or did not exist.

Ulmer’s son, Scot, and co-defendant Roger Morr were released from prison in June, 2011, after serving slightly more than two years of their four-year sentences. Both are on community control and must pay restitution.

John and Scot Ulmer were ordered to pay more than $15 million in restitution, while Morr was to pay $1.56 million. A fourth co-defendant, Anthony Garzony, did not go to prison but was sentenced to five years of community control and ordered to pay $20,000 in restitution.

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