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      Former Financial Advisor from Roanoke Pleads Guilty to Fraud

      Lynchburg, VA - A Roanoke man who was an independent financial advisor pleaded guilty to fraud charges Thursday morning.

      Michael D. Leamnson, 56, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Lynchburg.

      Officials say Leamnson cheated his clients of nearly $1 million with the promise of high investment returns.

      Leamnson admitted in court that instead of using funds for safe investments, he instead deposited investor money into a general checking account, which he used for personal expenses and other interests.

      He faces a maximum possible penalty of up to 20 years in prison on each fraud count and/or a fine of up to $250,000 on each count.

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