Financial Advisor Sentenced to 18 Months in Federal Prison for Defrauding the Branchville Volunteer Fire Company

January 16, 2009

Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus sentenced Jose Daniel Iriarte, age 36, of Severn, Maryland, today to 18 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for wire fraud arising from a scheme to defraud the Branchville Volunteer Fire Company of $130,000, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. Judge Titus also ordered that Iriarte pay $130,000 in restitution to his former employer, who reimbursed the fire company for its loss.

According to his plea agreement, Iriarte was a financial advisor at the Bethesda office of a financial services brokerage firm, responsible for providing investment advice and services to financial customers. In October 2006, Iriarte listed his townhouse in Crofton, Maryland for sale. At around the same time, he entered into a contract to purchase a more expensive residence in Severn, Maryland. Iriarte planned to use the equity from the sale of his townhouse to finance the Severn residence.

By November 2006, the townhouse had not been sold and Iriarte needed money to make a down payment on the Severn residence. In order to make the down payment and to pay off some other debts, Iriarte obtained a short-term private loan from one of his investment clients. When the private loan became due in April 2007, however, Iriarte still had not sold the townhouse and did not have the funds to repay the private loan. Iriarte then took $130,000 that the Branchville Volunteer Fire Company, which was another of his investment clients, had entrusted to him for investment and used those funds to repay his private loan. The fire department never authorized Iriarte to use its funds for his personal benefit.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation for its investigative work and commended Assistant United States Attorney Kathleen O. Gavin, who is prosecuting the case.



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