Financial Planner Arraigned For Securities Fraud And Larceny

Attorney General Spitzer announced today that a former Monroe County insurance agent and financial consultant was arraigned on felony charges that he defrauded an elderly man out of nearly $150,000.

Maurice C. Bartholomay, 40 - formerly of 43 Constitution Circle, Rochester and now residing in Slidell, Louisiana - was charged with Securities Fraud, a class E felony, and Grand Larceny, a class C felony. The defendant entered a not guilty plea before Town of Gates Justice John Pisaturo and was released on $10,000 cash bail.

"Aggressive enforcement of securities laws will help restore investor confidence that today is sadly lacking," Spitzer said. "This case is especially egregious because it involves the complete abuse of trust a senior citizen placed in his financial advisor."

According to court papers, between February 1999 and January 2001, Bartholomay persuaded his victim to cash in secure investments, including life insurance policies and savings bonds, and to invest the money with Bartholomay. Bartholomay promised that he could secure a better rate of return for his victim and he assured the elderly Gates man that the investments were "guaranteed."

After repeated unanswered requests for documentation related to where his money had been invested, the victim contacted the Town of Gates Police Department, which investigated and then referred the case to the Attorney General's office.

Spitzer's investigation revealed that Bartholomay made no investments on behalf of his victim and that he instead used the money to pay for his personal expenses and to engage in unsuccessful "day-trading" of stocks in his own name.

Bartholomay faces a maximum of 5-15 years in prison on the Grand Larceny charges and 1 - 4 years in prison on the securities fraud charges.

The case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Paul F. McCarthy of the Criminal Prosecutions Bureau, Investigator Michael Hagler of the Attorney General's Investigations Bureau, and Investigator Michael Terhaar and Captain Andrew Allocco of the Gates Police Department.

Other individuals who may have had dealings with Bartholomay are urged to contact Investigator Hagler at (585) 546-7430.

The charges in this case are merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.