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Sewickley investment broker charged with taking clients' money for cruise, Vegas

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Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, 1:36 p.m.
 

A Sewickley investment broker used more than $130,000 she stole from two clients to go on a cruise and take a trip to Las Vegas, Allegheny County District Attorney's Office detectives said on Thursday.

Lori Ann Artzberger, 49, was arraigned on Thursday afternoon on two counts of theft by deception and one count of misapplication of entrusted property before Monroeville District Judge Jeffrey L. Herbst.

According to a criminal complaint, Artzberger in 2010 told the clients — both of whom had invested with her — that they needed to diversify their accounts. She instructed them to buy cashiers' checks payable to TD Ameritrade and Franklin Money Fund and said she would invest the money.

In October 2012, the Internal Revenue Service sent the women notices that they owed interest and penalties on early withdrawals of their accounts. The women called Artzberger, who said it was a misunderstanding.

When the women got two more letters from the IRS, she admitted depositing the checks into her personal account, the complaint states.

An investigation by the DA's office found that Artzberger used the money to write checks to herself totaling $86,000 and to take a Royal Caribbean cruise and a trip to Las Vegas.

When questioned by detectives, she told them: “I made a mistake. I used the money. I regret it.”

Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 18.

Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927 or abrandolph@tribweb.com.

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