An Annapolis stockbroker was charged yesterday with defrauding four investors out of $145,000 by setting up fake accounts and falsifying monthly interest statements.
Anne Arundel County police said their investigation was continuing and could involve eight other victims who may have lost an additional $100,000.
William Anthony Mahlow Jr., 46, was arrested at his home in the 1700 block of Long Green Drive, charged with four counts of felony theft and four counts of fraudulent misappropriation by a fiduciary.
He was released on his own recognizance by a District Court commissioner. In an interview yesterday afternoon, Mr. Mahlow said he took full responsibility for the thefts and would repay each of his investors.
"I have to raise money and borrow from friends," he said, adding that taking the money "was just stupid." Mr. Mahlow would not give any reasons for his actions or say how he had used the money.
Anne Arundel police Cpl. Darryl R. Hagner, who investigates white-collar crime for the county state's attorney's office, said Mr. Mahlow worked as a consultant for several area brokerages.
He said none of the companies was involved in any impropriety.
The corporal said the victims -- who live throughout the metropolitan area and in Virginia -- had approached Mr. Mahlow, seeking his advice in investing amounts ranging from $6,000 to $103,000.
Charging documents filed in District Court say Mr. Mahlow sent out fake monthly investment reports and false IRS-1099 interest forms. If a client cashed in an account, Mr. Mahlow allegedly used money from other clients to cover the amount.
Corporal Hagner said only one client received monthly dividend checks, between $800 and $1,000, which again were drawn on other accounts. "It was very professionally done," the officer said. "He robbedPeter to pay Paul."
Police said Mr. Mahlow was caught when one of the brokerages he was working through noticed discrepancies in one account. Mr. Mahlow admitted to the company's security officer that he misappropriated the funds, according to charging documents.
County police seized Mr. Mahlow's computer June 24 and said they found information about the false accounts. Five days later, according to charging documents, Mr. Mahlow contacted each of the victims, told them about the scam and promised to pay them back.
Corporal Hagner said the broker has a license and did perform legitimate services. "It was just certain accounts he misappropriated," he said.