Los Osos man sentenced to 9 years in prison for Ponzi scheme

A Los Osos business man was sentenced to nine years in state prison today for defrauding investors of more than $2 million.

Leonard Delk, 82, pleaded no contest to charges of grand theft by embezzlement and unlawful sales of securities in October. A no contest plea results in a conviction without an admission of guilt.

Delk defrauded 23 people, including many local victims, as part of an illegal investment operation, according to prosecutors.

He sold securities in a Ponzi scheme, paying off existing investors with money from new investors. Delk faced a maximum prison sentence of 19 years and four months.

His attorney, James Royer, previously said that his client was trying to make money for the investors but got in over his head when the stock market declined.

Delk has received 1,476 days of credits for time already served in jail and good conduct for credit. Delk was sentenced in Judge Barry LaBarbera’s court.

--Nick Wilson