Albany County Financial Advisor Pleads Guilty To Defrauding Investors Out Of $133,000

NEW YORK, NY (January 17, 2007)—Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo announced that today, in Albany County Court, a Massachusetts man pled guilty to Grand Larceny in the Third Degree and Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree.

Kenneth Clairmont, 37, of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, was a financial advisor who worked out of Albany County. He was also the principal of Community Ventures, a business development, financial services, and marketing firm aimed at serving the gay and lesbian community.

“This defendant used his position as a financial advisor to defraud innocent individuals,” said Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo. “This kind of activity will not be tolerated and our office will continue to prosecute individuals who defraud the public in this manner.”

Clairmont defrauded five separate individuals by making material misrepresentations to them so that they would invest. He fraudulently obtained $133,000. In one instance Clairmont created false financial statements for Community Ventures in order to obtain investments totaling $25,000 from one couple. In another instance, he obtained an $8,000 investment by saying the money would be invested in a company, when it was actually deposited into his mother’s bank account.

Today’s plea took place in front of Albany County Judge Stephen W. Herrick. The defendant was originally charged with five counts of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, four counts of Fraudulent Practices with Respect to Securities, and one count of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree.

As part of the plea agreement, the defendant will sign five confessions of judgment totaling the amount of money he stole from investors. The defendant will be sentenced on March 14, 2007 to 1 ½ to 4 ½ years incarceration. Judge Herrick will also impose a restitution order.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Johanna Sullivan of the Criminal Prosecutions Bureau under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Viola I. Abbitt and Bureau Chief Janet Cohn. The investigation was led by Investigator Mark Spencer.