- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 19, 2016

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - A central New York business executive has been convicted of bilking more than a dozen investors out of $2 million.

A federal jury in Syracuse on Monday found 71-year-old James Griffin guilty of mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.

Prosecutors say Griffin marketed and sold a product through 54 Freedom Cos., which guaranteed a monthly return to investors who said the monthly checks would disappear. Griffin is the chairman and CEO of the Cazenovia-based business.

The product was sold as a charitable gift annuity, which was marketed as being backed by a highly-rated insurance carrier.

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.

He’ll be sentenced on Nov. 15.

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