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Texan Who Fled To Greece Sentenced In Ponzi Scam

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File photo of a prison cell block. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

(File photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A North Texas businessman who fled to Greece after pleading guilty to running a Ponzi scheme has been returned and sentenced to more than 17 years in a U.S. prison.

A federal judge in Fort Worth also ordered 34-year-old Christopher Blackwell of Colleyville to repay about $8.6 million.

Investigators say Blackwell, who was arrested last April on the Greek island of Corfu, ran the scheme from 2007 to mid-2011. He was indicted on two counts of wire fraud before being arrested in Phoenix. Authorities say Blackwell pleaded guilty but fled before sentencing.

Prosecutors say Blackwell defrauded dozens of people by using their money for his personal benefit and to repay previous investors.

He was sentenced Wednesday.

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