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Complaint: Mass. Man Defrauded Retirees of $2M

BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts man has been accused of defrauding about 35 retirees of $2 million by offering nonexistent investments through his financial planning firm.

Secretary of State William Galvin says Foxborough resident John Picini forged an investor’s name to an annuity surrender form. An administrative complaint says he then told the investor to write a check to him for the annuity amount, saying the Patriot Act required it.

In another case, the complaint says, a 90-year-old blind widow invested nearly $156,000 with Picini, but no investment account was established.

Galvin says Picini used the money for personal expenses. The complaint seeks to bar Picini from state securities registration and require him to compensate investors.

Picini’s attorney tells The Associated Press that the allegations are “totally wrong.”

AP-WF-07-31-12 2253GMT