CHICAGO — A Joliet financial advisor has been indicted on federal fraud charges for allegedly swindling several clients out of nearly $800,000.
RONALD T. MOLO, 61, of Shorewood, Ill., is charged in an indictment unsealed today in U.S. District Court in Chicago with six counts of wire fraud. Arraignment has not yet been scheduled.
The indictment was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI. Valuable assistance was provided by the Joliet Police Department, Illinois Securities Department, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Havey.
According to the indictment, Molo worked as a licensed financial advisor in the Joliet branch of a national financial services firm. From 2018 to earlier this year, Molo falsely represented to clients that their investments with him would be income-producing and tax-free, and that they would receive regular, periodic interest payments, the charges allege. In reality, Molo did not intend to invest client funds and instead misappropriated their money to pay for personal expenses, including Cadillac XT5 and GMC Yukon sport-utility vehicles, mortgage payments for himself and family members, home remodeling and construction costs, lottery tickets, travel and shopping expenses, and cash payments to family members, the indictment states.
As a result of the scheme, Molo caused at least three clients to suffer losses totaling $778,000, the indictment states.
The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Each count of wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.