- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 14, 2016

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - A central New York business executive convicted of bilking more than a dozen investors has been sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay $2 million in restitution.

A federal judge in Syracuse on Tuesday sentenced 71-year-old James Griffin of Cazenovia for mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. Griffin was convicted in July.

Prosecutors say Griffin sold a financial product called “the 54 Freedom Charitable Gift Annuity.” He guaranteed a monthly return to investors for life, but they received no payments after 2013.

Griffin was also convicted of enticing investors to use retirement funds to invest in his companies by falsely promising to protect them from tax consequences.

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