Ohio woman, 71, who led Ponzi scheme gets nine years

An Ohio woman has been sentenced to nine years in prison for bilking $60 million from nearly 900 investors in a failed development project.

Seventy-one-year-old Joanne Schneider pleaded guilty Monday to 11 felony counts. She'll get credit for the 2 1/2 years she's already served.

The hearing settled a long-running dispute about how much time Schneider would spend in prison for the Ponzi scheme she ran with her husband, Alan. They had proposed a multimillion-dollar retail and entertainment development in Cleveland that was never built.

Joanne Schneider's attorney said Tuesday that she chose to plead guilty to avoid facing the possibility of a longer sentence if convicted at trial.

Alan Schneider pleaded guilty to securities and theft charges in 2009 and was put on probation.