Crime & Courts

Joliet financial advisor faces federal fraud charges

Federal prosecutors announced a Joliet financial advisor has been charged with swindling clients out of nearly $800,000.

Ronald Molo, 61, of Shorewood was charged in an indictment that was unsealed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court of Chicago with six counts of wire fraud, according to a news release from the office of John Lausch, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

Molo worked as a licensed financial advisor in the Joliet branch of a national financial services firm, U.S. Attorney officials said.

From 2018 until about June 15, Molo falsely represented to clients that their investments with him would be income-producing and tax-free, and that they would receive regular, periodic interest payments, according to the indictment.

U.S. Attorney officials said Molo did not actually intend to invest clients’ funds and he instead misappropriated their money to pay for personal expenses such as a Cadillac XT5 and GMC Yukon SUV, mortgage payments for himself and family members, home remodeling and construction costs, lottery tickets, travel and shopping expenses, and cash payments to family members.

As a result, Molo caused at least three clients to suffer losses totaling $778,000, U.S. Attorney officials said.

Each count of wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison.

Lausch’s office thanked the assistance provided by the Joliet Police Department, the Illinois Securities Department and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.