Fraudster, now blind, seeks release from prison

By Ed White

Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) -- A 76-year-old suburban Detroit man convicted of a $200 million Ponzi scheme said he's lost virtually all his eyesight and wants to be released from prison while he pursues appeals.

Edward May is just 17 months into a 16-year sentence after pleading guilty to fraud. For a decade, he told investors that he had telecommunications deals with Las Vegas hotels and promised easy, double-digit returns. But the money was recycled to pay off earlier investors and spent on gambling.

In a recent court filing, the Oakland County man said he's blind in one eye and is 85 percent blind in the other. May said the federal prison in Loretto, Pa., isn't equipped to handle his disability.

U.S. District Judge Arthur Tarnow plans to meet with attorneys in the case this Friday.

May said his eyesight is suffering due to the side effects of medicine given for other illnesses. He has high blood pressure, diabetes and glaucoma.

It is unclear what appeals are left in his case. May challenged his lengthy sentence but then told his lawyer to drop it last year before the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati could make a decision.

May told Tarnow that he has a job lined up if he's released from prison. He said he would be selling lighting and putting his salary toward restitution. The government has said losses from his scheme topped $35 million.

"Sight impairment is not a drawback as my wife can drive me to meetings and work," May said in a court filing that was prepared by a fellow inmate.

Published: Wed, May 29, 2013


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