Broker accused of bilking clients pleads guilty

Cleveland-AP -- A former stockbroker has admitted in court that he misused more than $50 million of his clients' money.

Frank Gruttadauria pleaded guilty in federal court in Cleveland to securities fraud, mail fraud, identity theft and making false statements to a bank.

Prosecutors say that between 1987 and 2001, he sent out false statements to at least 28 customers about the status of their investment accounts and shifted money among accounts to cover up losses.

The false statements overestimated the value of customer accounts by more than $270 million.

Gruttadauria (pictured, above) vanished from his home with his passport in January, leaving the FBI a letter describing the scam and saying he didn't take money for personal use. He surrendered in February.

The former stockbroker will be sentenced in November. Under terms of a plea agreement, he will serve from six and a-half to eight years in prison.

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