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South suburban man gets 3 1/2 years for investment fraud

A south suburban man who worked for a north suburban investment firm was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in federal prison for defrauding more than 30 victims of over $3 million, using some the money for gambling.

U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman on Friday ordered 47-year-old Oscar Donald Overbey of Country Club Hills to pay $3,090,833 to his victims, according to a statement from the U.S. State’s Attorney’s office.

He was sentenced to 42 months in federal prison and ordered to begin serving his sentence Jan. 12.

Overbey, who previously lived in Evanston, worked as a financial advisor at Ameriprise Financial in the northern suburb, where he engaged in his fraudulent financing scheme from 1996 to 2007, prosecutors said.

Among Overbey’s victims were two university workers and their daughters, who refinanced a home and used a home equity line of credit to invest $150,000 in what he told them was a government-backed investment that would pay 10 percent interest, prosecutors said.

Instead of investing the money, Overbey took the entire amount to pay personal expenses, including gambling, and make more than 10 Ponzi-type payments to other victims, the statement said.

“The victims placed their trust in [Overbey], but never had a chance,” Asst. U.S. Attorney Edward Kohler said in the statement. “ [Overbey] abused that trust and misused his education and skills as an investment advisor to benefit himself and to keep his scheme going,”

After serving his sentence, Overbey will be placed on supervised release for three years, during which time he will be prohibited from gambling or visiting casinos or racetracks.