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Feds: New York Advisor Stole $1.5 Million From Clients

Donald Laguardia, CEO of Manhattan-based L-R Managers, now bankrupt, allegedly took millions from investors, which was supposed to go into frontier markets investments.

The federal government charged an advisor in New York with securities fraud, wire fraud and investment advisor fraud for stealing more than $1.5 million from private investment funds managed by his firm.

Donald Laguardia was the CEO and co-founder of Manhattan-based L-R Managers, which is now bankrupt. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on each of the securities and wire fraud counts and a maximum sentence of five years in prison on the investment advisor fraud count, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Laguardia allegedly took millions of dollars from investors, which was supposed to go into three funds invested in frontier markets. Instead, he used the money for the firm’s payroll, office space rent, and to pay off credit card debt, and used at least $191,000 of the funds for personal use, according to the charges. Even when the firm slipped into financial trouble in 2015, he took $2 million from an investor to continue paying himself and keep the business running, according to the government.

“As alleged, Donald Laguardia stole from investors through a series of lies,” said Geoffrey Berman, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. “He violated his clients’ trust by siphoning their money to bankroll his business and line his own pockets. Now, Laguardia faces prosecution for his alleged crimes.”

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