Aurora man charged with fraud, embezzlement

R-C Staff report Published:

A federal grand jury has filed a 10-count bill of information charging an Aurora man with defrauding his employer, a Beachwood company, and its investment clients out of approximately $366,000.

Andrew J. Franz, 41, is charged with three counts of mail fraud, one count of securities fraud, one count of investment adviser fraud, and five counts of income tax evasion.

Agents of the FBI, IRS and Securities and Exchange Commission investigated the alleged crimes, which occurred between 2007 and 2010.

The information charges that Franz defrauded Ruby Corporation of Beachwood in Cuyahoga County -- a company owned by his father -- and at least 10 of its clients by misappropriating more than $366,000 in customer funds for personal use.

Franz allegedly submitted quarterly fee requests to mutual fund and annuity companies for payment of investment advisory fees for Ruby's clients' investment accounts, authorities said. He allegedly intercepted the checks and deposited them into accounts he controlled, and accepted fees that were more than what was due or that were not due to Ruby.

Franz also allegedly misrepresented himself as the owner of a trust, had mutual fund payments sent to his personal residence and failed to pay $245,352 worth of federal taxes.

The SEC sued Franz in 2012 to force him to pay back the stolen money and sought civil penalties against him.according to the lawsuit.

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