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Archive for Wednesday, April 7, 2004

Suspect indicted on fraud charges

April 7, 2004

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— An Overland Park, Kan., man who portrayed himself as a rich businessman and successful investor has been indicted on federal charges of wire fraud and transporting stolen securities.

John Francis Haggerty, 39, was indicted last week for allegedly defrauding clients of nearly $300,000.

The indictment alleges that Haggerty took investors' money purportedly to buy stocks in companies such as Amazon.com but spent it on himself instead. The indictment said he had been banned in 1998 from the securities business.

If convicted, Haggerty faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison without parole and a $250,000 fine on each of the two wire fraud charges. He faces a maximum of 10 years without parole and a $250,000 fine for transporting stolen securities, according to the office of Eric Melgren, U.S. attorney for Kansas.

The case was investigated by the Overland Park Police Department and the FBI and is being prosecuted by Scott Rask, an assistant U.S. attorney, with the assistance of the Johnson County district attorney's office, according to a release from Melgren's office.

Haggerty could not be reached for comment. He is in jail after being convicted in February of aggravated battery.

According to the indictment, Haggerty was barred in 1998 from working in the securities business by the National Association of Securities Dealers for making "baseless price predictions" and defrauding customers.

After that, according to the indictment, Haggerty allegedly claimed to be a stockbroker and attracted clients by telling them he could get big returns by trading on their behalf. In 1998 he was day trading through All-Tech Direct in Overland Park, the indictment said.

According to the indictment, investors gave Haggerty sums ranging from $20,000 to $200,000 to do day trading or buy stocks, including shares in an initial public offering. In each case, the indictment said, he did not buy the stocks but used the money for himself.

The transporting-stolen-securities charges stemmed from his taking a $20,250 check from clients in Kansas and depositing it into an account at his Missouri bank, the indictment said.

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