A former Trumbull church leader is facing sentencing for a scheme that authorities say defrauded investors including members of his congregation of more than $400,000.
Julius C. Blackwelder of North Dakota, formerly of Stratford, is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday in New Haven for wire fraud and money laundering offenses.
Blackwelder was bishop of the Bridgeport ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Authorities say Blackwelder misled investors by saying he would invest their money in safe, long-term commodities futures contracts and, in some cases, guaranteeing a specific return on investment. Prosecutors say he used the money to pay back earlier investors, build himself a waterfront house in Stratford and repay personal bank loans.
Prosecutors say Blackwelder should get nearly four years in prison. Blackwelder is seeking 18 months, promising to make amends.
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