Mass. investment adviser pleads guilty to fraud

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BOSTON (AP) — A Peabody investment adviser has pleaded guilty to defrauding several clients of their retirement savings, which he used to buy a new home and car.

Federal prosecutors said Thursday that 40-year-old John Michael Babiarz pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Babiarz was fired in September 2011 from Bishop, Rosen & Co. and falsely told some former clients he had taken a job at Fidelity Investments and told others he was working independently.

Telling clients he could continue managing their money if they opened online accounts at Fidelity, Babiarz helped customers open online accounts and set up usernames and passwords. He then diverted clients' money — or money he borrowed in their names — to accounts he controlled.

Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 1.

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