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Wymer Reaches Plea Deal in Fraud Case

From Associated Press

Newport Beach money manager Steven D. Wymer, charged with bilking more than $100 million from dozens of local governments, has struck a deal to settle the federal criminal and civil cases against him, sources said Friday.

The FBI, postal investigators, prosecutors and securities regulators scheduled a news conference Tuesday at the federal courthouse in downtown Los Angeles to announce settlement of the Wymer case.

Wymer, 44, once was considered a financial wizard by small agencies who trusted him to invest their excess cash, including the cities of Orange, Torrance and Palm Desert. He is accused of falsely reported high returns to his clients and shifted money among their accounts in a financial shell game.

One of Wymer’s attorneys, James D. Riddet, said earlier this month that he was close to an agreement that would include a guilty plea and prison time for Wymer.

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A federal source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the settlement also includes a large payment by Wymer, who had millions of dollars worth of personal property and other assets seized last spring.

Wymer, who is free on bail, headed Irvine-based International Treasury Management. ITM managed $1.2 billion in investments for 65 small cities and state agencies, primarily in California, Iowa and Colorado.

Wymer had pleaded innocent to 30 counts of securities fraud, mail fraud, money laundering, obstruction of justice and making false statements. Under federal sentencing guidelines, a 15- to 20-year prison sentence would have been likely, said Jean Kawahara, a federal prosecutor on the case. She declined to discuss terms of the settlement.

“It will all be made public on Tuesday,” she said.

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