CLEVELAND (AP) — A financial adviser in northern Ohio has been sentenced to 17 years in prison after pleading guilty to defrauding more than $4.4 million from nearly 100 clients over a 10-year period.
Many churches and charities were among those that lost money.
A federal judge in Cleveland sentenced Richard Zakarian of Vermilion on Wednesday. He also was ordered to repay the $4.4 million.
U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach 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.
Zakarian’s attorney says his client is remorseful and wants to make amends.