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Financial advisor pleads guilty to swindling more than 20 city employees

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 1:37 a.m. HST, Jul 31, 2013

A financial advisor pleaded guilty Tuesday to securities fraud and money laundering to charges related to swindling $2.2 million from more than 20 active and retired city employees. 

Bruce M. Harada, 55, now faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $75,000. Circuit Judge Rom Trader scheduled Harada’s sentencing for Jan. 14.

According to the Oahu grand jury indictment, Harada committed the crimes from April 2007 to May 2012. During that time he was an independent financial adviser for ING North America Corp. 

Harada convinced at least 22 people to withdraw money from their deferred compensation accounts to reinvest in a mutual fund he said was authorized by ING, according to prosecutors. Instead, Harada put it in his personal account and spent it for his own use, prosecutors said.

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