A Topeka lawyer was sentenced Tuesday to five years in federal prison for orchestrating a "Ponzi" scheme that defrauded clients out of more than $500,000, including funds intended for Kansas University.
Robert M. Telthorst, 52, pleaded guilty in November to wire fraud charges, including diverting nearly $80,000 provided by “Albert and Bertha J" in May 2010 to support a charitable trust for the Kansas University School of Business.
According to court records, Telthorst instead used the money to further support a scheme he devised with several other client-funding sources.
By April 2011, the trust to benefit KU had been drained to less than $1,800. In addition, Telthorst was accused of defrauding several other clients of more than $460,000.
All of the funds diverted were either used for Telthorst’s personal benefit or to replenish funds he had diverted from other clients, the indictment alleges.
Telthorst — who has since been disbarred — was ordered to pay more than $537,000 in restitution.