An investment adviser with ties to Maine has pleaded guilty in federal court in Illinois to charges that he defrauded investors of $1.1 million.

Philip E. Moriarty II, who has homes in Scarborough and Northeast Harbor, agreed on Feb. 16 to plead guilty to one count of wire fraud for a scheme in which he told investors they were buying shares in multiple companies, while in reality Moriarty spent their cash on his personal expenses.

Sentencing has been set for June 21.

According to a Feb. 16 filing in federal court for Illinois’s northern district, between 2008 and 2010, Moriarty collected roughly $1.15 million from four investors with the agreement that the money would buy shares in Moriarty’s Chicago-based First Street Capital Partners, and in a separate business that Moriarty co-owned, Teton Acadia Capital Partners, which operated sporting good stores in Jackson, Wyoming.

In support of these investment agreements, Moriarty drew up fictitious documents that appeared to prove the money was directed as intended. Later, to lull the four duped investors, Moriarty also told them that his firm, First Street, was acquired by a larger financial services company, and that their previous investments in his business would be converted to the larger company’s stock at a 25 percent return.

Moriarty then leveraged money from one victim to get an additional $250,000 to further invest in the larger financial company, which in reality never acquired Moriarty’s firm.

Prosecutors allege that Moriarty spent the money on himself, including a $39,100 payment in 2011 to a golf, hunting and fishing club, and $23,000 paid to a boarding school in New Hampshire.

A grand jury in Chicago indicted him on the charges in January 2015. After a warrant was issued for his arrest, Moriarty was arrested while driving down Route 1 in Scarborough in February 2015, and was released on $25,000 bail.

Moriarty worked for a year at Black Point Capital until 2014, the Portland-based investment advisory firm that manages money for the Sprague family and other wealthy clients, and he had ties to Cate Street Capital, the private equity firm that operated the Great Northern Paper Mill until the company went bankrupt in 2014.

In the documents detailing his plea change, prosecutors recommended Moriarty serve between 41 and 51 months in federal prison, subject to review by a judge, who could decide on a different sentence.


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