A federal jury has found the former owners of the Albany broker-dealer McGinn, Smith & Co. guilty of operating a Ponzi-like investment scheme in which prosecutors said more than $4 million was diverted for personal uses.
The jury found Timothy McGinn guilty of 27 of 29 counts and former partner David Smith guilty Feb. 6 of 15 of 29 counts after deliberating for four days following a four-week trial in Utica in the Northern District of New York.
Both defendants were convicted of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, securities fraud and filing false tax returns. Prosecutors from the Northern District U.S. Attorney’s office said the men face up to 15 years in prison and fines of at least $1 million. Sentencing was scheduled for June 28 by Judge David Hurd (See Profile).
Prosecutors argued that Smith, 67, and McGinn, 64, used 17 trusts, one corporation and other entities to camouflage the personal use of some $4.1 million in investors’ payments that were fraudulently characterized as loans. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission estimated that as many as 900 investors were defrauded out of as much as $130 million by McGinn, Smith before the firm was shut down three years ago by federal regulators.