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FBI Still Searching for Missing Broker

February 4, 2002

CLEVELAND (AP) _ A letter to his family offered no clues to the whereabouts of a missing investment broker suspected of stealing millions of dollars from clients, the FBI said Monday.

In a two-page, handwritten letter to his mother, Frank Gruttadauria apologized for putting her through the ordeal of his disappearance and an investigation by the FBI and Wall Street regulators, The Plain Dealer reported.

Gruttadauria, 44, the manager of a Cleveland office of Lehman Brothers, is suspected of stealing as much as $300 million from clients. He has been missing since Jan. 11.

He said in the letter his mother received Thursday that he wants to apologize ``for the shame and hell I have put you through.″

Elvera Gruttadauria allowed her lawyer to read portions of the letter to a reporter for The Plain Dealer on Sunday. She has identified the handwriting as her son’s.

``I don’t know how to live as a fugitive,″ the letter concluded. ``I’m really terrified, but please remember me as a happy young boy.″

Elvera Gruttadauria asked The Plain Dealer to print a coded message to her son in hopes of arranging his surrender to the FBI. The message was ``Please contact ‘Furnose’ with a time to meet at Chic’s.″

``We’re hoping the plea today in The Plain Dealer that it is safe to turn himself into any FBI office will help us out,″ FBI spokeswoman Laurie Fournier said Monday.

The family’s lawyer, Carl F. Gillombardo Jr., turned the letter over to the FBI on Friday.

He declined to identify the postmark. Gillombardo, who didn’t return messages seeking comment Monday, said the family does not know Gruttadauria’s whereabouts.

When he disappeared, Gruttadauria, of suburban Gates Mills, reportedly also left a letter for the FBI in which he said he misappropriated money from client accounts.

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