A Pataskala man has pleaded guilty in Muskingum County to stealing $493,335 from 15 investors.

Michael Mathew, 35, did business under the name of Mathew Investments in Dresden. From August 2014 through September 2015, he was accused of taking money from investors telling them that it would be held in trust and traded in the stock market.

He told his clients that a portion of their investment was guaranteed and issued false statements showing inflated portfolio balances, according to the Ohio Division of Securities.

The money was actually used for personal expenses, to pay back previous investors and to cover losses in Mathew’s personal trading accounts. Neither Mathew nor his business held a securities license with the Ohio Division of Securities.

Mathew pleaded guilty last week in Muskingum County Common Pleas Court to 36 felonies, including 14 counts of misrepresentation in the sale of a security, two counts of theft from the elderly, three counts of attempted misrepresentation in the sale of a security, nine counts of security fraud, three counts of attempted securities fraud and five counts of publishing a false statement as to the value of a security.

He is scheduled to be sentenced July 10 and faces up to 10 years in prison.

mawilliams@dispatch.com

@BizMarkWilliams