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Loudoun financial adviser admits to $6.7M investment fraud

A Loudoun County man pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to a scheme reminiscent of the scams launched by New York financier Bernard Madoff.

Gregory Vincent Cronin, 49, of Lovettsville, defrauded his clients of more than $6.7 million they had given him to invest in blue chip stocks, federal authorities said.

Cronin operated Innovative Investment Advisors from 2002 to 2009, according to authorities. Former clients from Cronin's previous job at a bank gave him money to invest, and Cronin sent them phony statements showing them that their money was in blue-chip stocks and was doing well.

But Cronin never set up separate accounts for his clients, prosecutors said.

Instead, Cronin invested the money in stock index options, losing huge amounts, court records show. If a client insisted on getting their own money back, Cronin would use money from a later investor as Madoff did, prosecutors said.

More than 50 people lost the combined $6.7 million with Cronin.

Cronin pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Liam O'Grady to one count of mail fraud and one count of securities fraud.

Cronin faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on the mail fraud count and 25 years in prison on the securities fraud count when he is sentenced on July 23.

-- Tom Jackman

By Tom Jackman  |  May 7, 2010; 1:53 PM ET
Categories:  Financial Crimes , From the Courthouse , Loudoun , Tom Jackman  | Tags: Loudoun financial adviser scam; Gregory Cronin $6.7 million fraud; Gregory Cronin investment scam  
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These stories occur all too frequently.

For some time-tested financial advice to share with your children, check out this funny video:

Posted by: danlowrey | May 8, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

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