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Reisterstown financial advisor pleads guilty in fraud

A Reisterstown financial advisor pleaded guilty in federal court in Baltimore on Wednesday to mail fraud in connection with the theft of more than $800,000 from accounts he managed for a child suffering from cerebral palsy and for an elderly client with dementia.

Ralph Edward Thomas Jr., 52, a former vice president in a subsidiary of Harbor Bank, used more than $100,000 in stolen money from the child's trust fund to buy a home, the U.S. Attorney's office said.

Thomas also obtained three mortgages valued at $205,000 on the home of the child's mother, using her name without her knowledge, authorities said.

Separately, while employed as a financial advisor for Wells Fargo Advisors from 2004 to last year, Thomas fraudulently withdrew $75,000 from an elderly client's account, authorities said.

As part of the plea deal reached in the U.S. District Court of Maryland, Thomas agreed to repay $838,000 with his own funds and with proceeds from the sale of his real estate and several luxury cars.

Thomas faces a maximum 20-year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine for mail fraud. His sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 3.



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