Wilmington financial advisor gets prison term - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Wilmington financial advisor gets prison term

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RALEIGH, NC (WECT) - A man from Wilmington will spend more than seventeen years in prison after being sentenced on security fraud charges.

Joseph Leonard, 44, will have to pay nearly a million dollars in restitution as well.

In May, Leonard pleaded guilty to securities fraud.  According to a release, Leonard was a financial advisor who owned Coastal Investment Advisors and Leonard Capital Management. He also wrote Your Money, Your Rights, Your Retirement and the Retirement Vault.

Authorities with the FBI say Leonard forged stock certificates of a company called Proton Therapies, USA and then sold the certificates worth $1.6 million to 55 people. Those folks included members of his own family, according to a release. Authorities say Leonard pocketed the money.

Investigators say Leonard did a parallel investment fraud scheme where he sold fakes certificates of deposit, offering an interest rate of 4.05%, to ten people in the Wilmington area. He sent fake monthly account statements showing growth in the CD's to his clients.

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