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DA: Westchester Man Swindled Via Baseball Venture

(credit: AP)

(credit: AP)

SCARSDALE, N.Y. (AP) — A man got investors to back his plan for a children’s baseball facility, then embezzled tens of thousands of dollars to pay his mortgage, prosecutors said.

Frank Schwall reeled in nearly $160,000 from investors to develop an indoor baseball training center for children, getting donations as big as $50,000 partly by falsely claiming he’d contributed $200,000 of his own and had a site lined up, Westchester County prosecutors said Wednesday.

Most of the backers’ cash ended up in Schwall’s personal bank accounts, and some paid the mortgage on his Scarsdale home, prosecutors said.

Schwall, 46, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to grand larceny and other charges.

“He absolutely denies doing anything criminal in nature,” said his lawyer, Andrew Proto.

Schwall formed Big Apple Baseball LLC in 2006 to promote his baseball center plan, prosecutors said. It was insolvent by October 2007, but he kept collecting investments, they said.

Schwall is free on $10,000 bail. If convicted, he could face up to 15 years in prison.