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Galemmo investor: “Some had to come out of retirement, sell their assets”

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Glen Galemmo Glen Galemmo
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Glen Galemmo, the man at the center of an alleged massive Ponzi scheme says his family's lives were turned upside down on July 17the day he sent an email to his investors telling them he was shutting down his investment firm, Queen City Investments.

"They aren't handling it very well.  It's been very stressful.  Very... Basically... Since July 17th... Our whole lives have changed," Galemmo told FOX19'S Amy Wagner when he sat down for an exclusive interview.

July 17 is also the last day John Rush, one of Galemmo's investors who also considered himself a close friend, last talked to Galemmo.

"The last conversation I had with him is the day it closed. Short conversation. I said have we lost our investment. He said no," John Rush said.  Rush is the first one of Galemmo's investors to speak publicly about the ordeal.

Since then, several civil lawsuits have been filed against Galemmo with claims investors lost a combined $300 million. Galemmo is also the subject of a federal investigation for wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering.

John Rush says it wasn't until the IRS shared details of that federal investigation that he began to fear his friend was a fraud.

"You cannot imagine, young family with five kids, beautiful kids, beautiful wife... Would a man like this do all of this to enrich himself?" said Rush.

Galemmo's attorney, Ben Dusing, has advised Galemmo not to comment on the lawsuits filed against him or the federal investigation.  Galemmo will talk about how his family's lives have changed since they abruptly moved out of their East Walnut Hills home in July.  Galemmo says they left because he fears for their safety.

Amy Wagner asked, "Can you talk specifically what fear there was for their safety?"

"There were numerous phone calls. Numerous very pointed, direct emails. I have a 12-year-old and 14-year-old daughter that was getting strange phone calls so I thought that was the best thing to do," Galemmo said.

So, Galemmo moved his family South where they live with family. 

"We're doing the best we can. Not living some glamorous lifestyle," Galemmo said.

The Galemmos now rent a home with 3,000 square feet, complete with four bedrooms and three bathrooms. It's across from the community pool.

"We are living off charity, and money from family members. Our lifestyle has completely changed. We are adjusting to it and trying to move on," Galemmo said.

Galemmo also says for the first time, his three kids who are 16 or older have to get a job.

"Did they have jobs when you guys lived here?" Wagner asked, to which Galemmo responded, "They did."

"So it's not necessarily because of the situation they need to get jobs or is it?" she asked. "It is because of the situation," Galemmo answered.

"I find it ironic he is positioning himself as the victim in this. Glen placed himself and his family in harm's way," Galemmo's investor John Rush told FOX19.

Meanwhile, Rush says Galemmo's investors are the real victims. He says some even had to come out of retirement and sell all of their assets.

As for Rush and his family, he said, "We are going to survive.  Going to be fine, but we did get hit, got hit financially, but the emotional, psychological betrayal runs far deeper."

Repeatedly, Galemmo had one message to those investors during the interview.

"I am truly sorry for any investors who lost money. That's the most important message I want to get across."

See our exclusive interview which aired September 4 in its entirety here: http://www.fox19.com/story/23343276/glen-galemmo-at-center-of-alleged-ponzi-scheme-speaks-to-fox19

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