Broker in fraud case seized in San Diego

May 31, 1991

A Cockeysville investment broker accused of bilking clients of more than $800,000 in savings has been arrested in San Diego, where he had assumed a new name and been living since 1989, according to the Maryland attorney general's office.

Michael E. Hart, 34, was arrested Wednesday, two weeks after a Baltimore County grand jury indicted him on 29 counts of theft, fraudulent misappropriation of funds and securities fraud from 1986 to 1989. He also is charged with failing to file income tax returns in 1988 and 1989.

Carolyn H. Henneman, an assistant attorney general, said yesterday that most of the nine victims were retired Bethlehem Steel Corp. workers who had asked Mr. Hart to invest their savings in annuities and IRA accounts. Instead, she said, he allegedly pocketed more than $801,000.

The broker, being held in a San Diego jail pending extradition, could face a maximum of 273 years in prison and $73,000 in fines if convicted of the charges.

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