Jail Records: Executive director of Humane Society of El Paso in Ohio
EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14) —
Luke Westerman, who was wanted by Ohio authorities for multiple felony charges including fraud and theft, has turned himself in, according to jail records.
This comes 11 days after he was incited on 19 counts of felony securities fraud and grand theft.
Franklin County, Ohio jail records show Westerman posted bond Monday.
Court records show Westerman's bond was set at $50,000 for appearance and a $20,000 personal recognizance bond. Court records show he posted $5,000 Monday.
During his arraignment, he pleaded not guilty to all 19 charges filed against him, according to records.
Columbus, Ohio authorities issued a warrant for his arrest Dec. 27.
KFOX14 Investigates reported last week that the charges Westerman is facing are from money he has solicited for investment purposes since 2010, according to an Ohio prosecutor. He is accused of swilding $700,000 from 10 Ohio citizens.
KFOX14 Investigates first reported about Westerman’s alleged past legal issues.
But those who know Westerman tell KFOX14 Investigates the charges were a long time coming.
"I felt conned and I felt brainwashed,” said Greg Leach, who worked for Westerman at an investment firm Westerman started in Columbus, Ohio known as Solomon Global Holdings
Leach, was hired as a financial investigator and quickly found himself investigating his boss. KFOX14 Investigates interviewed Leach in Columbus in December.
“Why are we not getting paid? Luke would never give us the answers, he would send us over to his CFO. ‘The check was in the mail,’ is what we were told,” Leach said.
He said that was just the beginning; eventually, the company disappeared.
“Everything started imploding from the inside out,” Leach said.
Leach left the firm, filed a lawsuit and reached a settlement for some of the money owed to him.
But he kept tabs on Westerman, the venture capitalist turned animal-rights activist in Ohio.
Shortly after entering the animal welfare scene in Columbus, he left to become the executive director of the Humane Society of El Paso at the end of 2017.
“He’s trying to do a new state, new start, total different persona,” Leach said.
But the past has now caught up to Westerman.
“There’s total disregard for collateral damage that was caused,” Leach said.
The terms of Westerman’s bond weren’t available Monday and it is unclear whether he will be allowed to leave Ohio and return to El Paso.
Monday night, the Humane Society of El Paso Board said in a statement, “We are pending board action regarding Mr. Westerman's position at the Humane Society of El Paso and will provide further information as it becomes available."