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posted: 2/27/2013 6:29 AM

Ex-commodities broker sentenced in Chicago

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Associated Press

A one-time Chicago commodities broker has been sentenced to four years in prison for defrauding a half-dozen people out of around $2.5 million. Their losses totaled some $1.3 million.

A Tuesday news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office says Joshua T.J. Russo was also ordered by a federal judge to pay nearly $1.2 million in restitution.

The 31-year-old Chicagoan is a former vice president of alternative investments for Olympus Futures Inc. He pleaded guilty in November to commodities fraud.

At his sentencing last week, prosecutors said Russo convinced customers to raid their IRA accounts and make what he falsely portrayed as conservative investments.

In fact, the government says Russo placed investments in highly speculative trades that routinely lost money.

Russo is due to begin serving his sentence on May 24.

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