CLEVELAND (AP) — A financial adviser in northern Ohio has been charged with defrauding more than $4.4 million from nearly 100 clients, including churches and charities, over a 10-year period.
U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach (DEHT’-ehl-bahk) said Tuesday that 47-year-old Richard Zakarian (zah-CAYR’-ee-ehn) of Vermilion was charged in a five-count criminal filing with wire, mail and tax fraud.
The government says Zakarian, a financial planner and self-employed tax preparer, lured investors with promises of guaranteed returns. Instead, the government says he made personal use of the money or invested in high-risk ventures.
The charges were detailed in a court filing which usually signals a pending plea deal.
No phone for Zakarian was available, and there was no immediate comment from his attorney in response to a message.