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Local financial advisor going to prison for 17 years

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RALEIGH, NC (NEWS RELEASE) -- United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that in federal court today JOSEPH A. LEONARD, 44, was sentenced by United State District Judge Earl Britt to 17 and a half years of imprisonment; 3 years supervised release, and was ordered to pay a $100 special assessment and $996,984.80 in restitution.

On May 7, 2012, LEONARD pled guilty to securities fraud, in violation of Title 15, United States Code, Section 75j(b), and Title 17, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 240.10-b5.

LEONARD, a former resident of Southport, North Carolina, was a financial advisor who owned and operated Coastal Investment Advisors and Leonard Capital Management. Additionally, he was the author of Your Money, Your Rights, Your Retirement, published in 2006 and the Retirement Vault, published in 2008.

An investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) determined that LEONARD forged stock certificates of a company known as Proton Therapies, USA (PT-USA). Subsequently, without the prior knowledge or authorization of the CEO and Board of Directors of PT-USA, LEONARD sold these forged stock certificates, purportedly worth $1,600,000.00, to 55 individuals -- including members of his own family -- in the Wilmington, North Carolina area and elsewhere. LEONARD sold forged stock certificates to the 55 victims in this case, and pocketed the cash for himself.

Additionally, LEONARD committed a parallel investment fraud scheme, selling fake certificates of deposit (CD’s), purportedly offering an annual interest rate of 4.05%. Leonard sold in excess of $996,000.00 in these fake CD’s to ten individuals in the Wilmington, North Carolina area, and elsewhere. As part of this fraud scheme, LEONARD sent these individuals false monthly account statements showing regular growth in these CD’s. In fact in and in truth, these CD’s did not exist and LEONARD had pocketed the cash for himself.
Investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal; Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Evan Rikhye is serving as prosecutor for the government.

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God Bless you! I knew Joe

God Bless you! I knew Joe and his wife in Michigan and can understand why you would believe he was honest and professional. I guess this explains their sudden move from MI to NC and SC---away from close family. Take care.

Leonard scam

Alot of good, honest, hard-working people were taken in by Joe's deception. He promised to invest the money wisely, and in turn we would get a healthy retirement. Instead, he lived an insanely lavish life style on my dime! Lost every dime! He STOLE money from his immediate family members - who does that?! His children will be grown and gone by the time he gets out of jail! He'll have missed their entire life!! Hope it was worth it!

I hope Joe rots in jail, and gets really "cozy" with his new cell-mate!!!

God bless you. I knew Joe

God bless you. I knew Joe and his family in Michigan and our community saw him as a good businessman and loving husband and father. (He tried to convince my husband to work for him!)I guess this explains the "sudden" decision to move from MI and close fmily to NC and SC. I hope that justice prevails and you recoup some of your losses.

LOL

I find this type of thing VERY HYPOCRITICAL...as the government does this type of thing on a DAILY BASIS!

He is LUCKY he only got jail

He is LUCKY he only got jail time... I know that if he would have stold my mothers money I would have taken it out of his ass...

Oh, too bad.... one less

Oh, too bad.... one less vote for Mutt Romney.