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OC Man Convicted Of Scamming Dozens Out Of $2.8M

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SANTA ANA (AP) — An Orange County man has been convicted of scamming dozens of elderly people out of about $2.8 million dollars.

Prosecutors say Hitomi Tsuyuki pleaded guilty to 29 felonies in court on Friday.

Between 1997 and 2007, Tsuyuki convinced 33 clients — many of them parishioners at his father’s church — to invest in tax-free municipal bonds.

The money was pocketed by Tsuyuki instead of ever being invested, while he provided false documents to convince them that their money had been invested.

Tsuyuki used the cash to buy his Coto de Caza home, a vacation property in Mammoth, a golf club membership and cars.

The fraud was uncovered after victims were told they couldn’t cash out on the investments.

He faces 18 years in prison. His next hearing is Oct. 28.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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