EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14) — Luke Westerman, the former director of the Humane Society of El Paso, has been sentenced in a Franklin County Court of Common Pleas to five years of community control, also known as probation, for fraud and theft and will have to pay back $1,105,369.29 in restitution.
Westerman will be allowed to make minimum monthly payments to pay back the restitution.
In October, Westerman, a native of Dayton, Ohio, issued a guilty plea to 19 securities-related felonies in Ohio.
According to prosecutors, Westerman solicited at least 19 Ohioans to invest over $1.09-million into companies owned or controlled by him and used the money for personal expenses.
Westerman faced three years of prison for each count of unlawful securities practices and 18 months for each count of grand theft. All counts could run consecutive to each other for a total of 19.5 years in prison.
A sentencing memorandum filed the day before Westerman’s sentencing said both the prosecution and defense recommended for the court to sentence Westerman to a period of community control with restitution of $1,105,369.29.
In the memo, Westerman’s attorney said Westerman had been making a living by cleaning houses for a small business in Houston, TX for $15 an hour, after being fired from the Humane Society of El Paso in 2019.
Westerman's attorney gave KFOX14 the following statement on the sentencing:
Mr. Westerman is extremely grateful for the opportunity to complete a period of community control and make amends for the actions that brought him before the Court. He will do everything in his power to restore the trust of his family, friends, and community.
RECOMMENDED: Audit used to find fraud within Humane Society of El Paso wouldn't have uncovered theft
RECOMMENDED: Humane Society of El Paso audits financial records under former director
Sign up for our newsletter and get each days top news stories delivered to your inbox.