Lovettsville Man Sentenced 151 Months for $6.8 Million Stock Fraud
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Gregory Vincent Cronin, 49, of Lovettsville, Va., was sentenced to 151 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for operating a scheme that defrauded more than $6.8 million from his clients who gave him their money to invest in blue chip stocks. Cronin was also ordered to pay $6,895,045 in restitution
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Daniel S. Cortez, Inspector-in-Charge of the Washington Division of the United States Postal Inspection Service, made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge Liam O’Grady.
“This was an unthinkable crime that devastated family and close friends who trusted Mr. Cronin with their entire life’s savings,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “He lied to his victims, and now everything they had is gone. The financial and emotional devastation left in his wake will be extremely difficult to rebuild, all because of one man’s greed.”
On May 7, 2010, Cronin pled guilty to one count of mail fraud and one count of securities fraud. According to the statement of facts filed with his plea agreement, Cronin operated a business, Innovative Investment Advisors, Inc. From 2002 through 2009, friends, relatives, and former clients who had invested with Cronin when he had worked for a large bank gave him money to invest for them. Cronin encouraged some to refinance their homes to obtain money to invest. Cronin sent them statements falsely showing that he had invested their money in blue chip stocks and that their investments were doing well.
In fact, however, he never set up separate accounts for the individual clients, but instead deposited the money into one account and used it to buy and sell stock index options. Over the years, Cronin lost large sums of money through his options trading. If a client persisted in wanting some money returned, Cronin would use a later investor’s money to repay that person. When Cronin ceased his scheme in September 2009, more than 50 victims had lost approximately $6.8 million.
This case was investigated by the Postal Inspection Service’s Northern Virginia Field Office and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jack Hanly.A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.uspci.uscourts.gov.