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Man behind Michigan's costliest Ponzi scheme starts prison sentence Thursday

He cost investors more than $35 million

Edward May

LAKE ORION, Mich. – A Detroit-area man has been ordered to report to prison Thursday to begin serving his sentence for a decade-long Ponzi scheme that bilked millions of dollars from investors.

Earlier this year Edward May of Lake Orion pleaded guilty to 59 counts of mail fraud, admitting he created phony companies and promised extraordinary investment returns in a short time period.

The 75-year-old man cost investors more than $35 million over 10 years.

A judge sentenced May to 16 years in federal prison for the crime.

"May's offenses were complex, highly orchestrated, and devastating to hundreds of investors across the country. ... His decade-long scheme demonstrated patent disrespect for the law and for basic moral and ethical behavior," Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Resnick Cohen said in a court filing in October.

May had asked a judge for a 30-day delay to the start of his sentence, but the judge denied his request.