Cleveland-Area Broker Charged
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CLEVELAND (AP) _ Federal prosecutors on Tuesday filed four criminal charges against broker Frank Gruttadauria, who is accused of cheating investors out of more than $50 million and lying on a bank loan application.
Gruttadauria, 44, of Gates Mills, is charged with securities fraud, mail fraud, identity theft and making false statements to a bank, according to a four-count information. An information is filed when the defendant waives his right to a grand jury hearing on the matter.
The charges carry a maximum possible penalty of 60 years in jail, said U.S. Attorney Emily Sweeney. The actual amount of jail time depends on federal sentencing guidelines, which generally result in penalties far below the maximum.
Prosecutors say that between 1987 and 2001, Gruttadauria sent out false statements to at least 28 customers about the status of their investments and accounts and shifted money among customer accounts to cover up losses. Between 1996 and 2001, Gruttadauria made $54.3 million in unauthorized transfers from customer accounts, prosecutors said.
The information also said Gruttadauria made fraudulent statements to a bank to obtain a $6 million line of credit. According to the government, Gruttadauria told National City Bank that he had an investment account valued at $13 million for collateral, when the actual value of the account was about $6.
Gruttadauria’s lawyer, Roger Synenberg, did not immediately return a call requesting comment.
Gruttadauria worked for Lehman Brothers Inc. and SG Cowen Securities Corp. at the time of the alleged scam. Investors have filed a $1 billion lawsuit against the companies, saying they were negligent and allowed Gruttadauria’s alleged scam to continue for years.
The Securities and Exchange Commission also has filed a lawsuit against Gruttadauria.