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Alton man pleads guilty to fraud for investment scheme

Alton man pleads guilty to fraud for investment scheme

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SIOUX CITY -- An Alton, Iowa, man pleaded guilty Monday to costing investors more than half a million dollars in losses in a fraudulent investment scheme.

Lon Friedrichsen, 61, waived his right to be charged by indictment and entered his plea in U.S. District Court in Sioux City to one count of wire fraud contained in a complaint filed last month.

Friedrichsen billed himself as a professional crude oil futures trader while soliciting investors online from about June 2014 through March 2018. Investors created accounts and deposited thousands of dollars in them, providing Friedrichsen with access to the accounts so he could trade on behalf of the investors.

Approximately 40 investors lost more than $550,000 as a result of Friedrichsen's actions.

In the online ads, Friedrichsen fraudulently claimed he had 30 years of trading experience and had previously worked on Wall Street and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. He also is accused of using several aliases and email addresses while communicating with investors in order to conceal his identity.

After incurring massive losses for his investors, Friedrichsen refused to communicate with them, the complaint said.

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