- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 15, 2014

BALTIMORE (AP) - A Columbia man has pleaded guilty to stealing $282,000 from his clients in fraudulent schemes.

Forty-three-year-old Pedro Santiago pleaded guilty to wire fraud Wednesday in federal court in Baltimore. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison at sentencing on Jan. 27.

According to his plea, Santiago accepted $20,500 from a client, promising to help the client obtain a line of credit of between $550,000 and $750,000. Prosecutors say Santiago never secured the line of credit.

Authorities say Santiago also promised five clients who invested a total of $261,500 that he would broker a deal involving crude oil or other commodities. Prosecutors say no such deals were made.

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