Corona del Mar man sentenced in fraud

May 15, 2002

A Corona del Mar man was sentenced Tuesday to seven years in federal

prison for running a large Ponzi scheme that defrauded about 350 victims

of nearly $8.7 million.

Steven Hevell, 38, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Alicemarie H.

Stotler, who also ordered that Hevell pay about $8.6 million in


The victims were defrauded by a high-technology investment scheme that


Hevell operated between 1994 and 1997. Hevell pleaded guilty in February

to three counts of mail fraud. A Ponzi scheme occurs when someone uses

money from new investors to pay interest owed to previous investors.

When he pleaded guilty, Hevell admitted that he induced victims to

invest in three high-technology companies by falsely promising that they

would have substantial revenues from selling software that electronically

transmitted radiological images.

The case was investigated by the FBI.

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