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Durham man pleads guilty to bilking retirees out of life savings

Posted August 18, 2014

Walter Ray Reinhardt listens to testimony on Aug. 15, 2014, during the first day of his securities fraud trial in Durham.

— Walter Reinhardt, the Durham man accused of taking more than $1 million from educators through fraudulent investments, has pled guilty to more than 40 charges of securities fraud, common law forgery and common law uttering, said George Jeter, spokesperson for the North Carolina Secretary of State's office. 

Reinhardt will be sentenced on Tuesday.

Reinhardt, 64, solicited investments from November 2005 to May 2009, asking people to put their money into a variety of businesses owned by a Richmond, Va., man, according to investigators. Investors were told they could earn 8 to 10 percent interest over four years.

Prosecutors from the Securities Division of the state Secretary of State's office said Reinhardt talked his way into faculty meetings at schools and would then persuade teachers to invest with him. He told at least one investor that former Gov. Jim Hunt and former University of North Carolina President C.D. Spangler were clients, prosecutors said.

Reinhardt didn't tell clients he wasn't registered as an investment adviser and was banned from the securities business, prosecutors said.

One N.C. Central University professor said she lost $267,000 through investing with Reinhardt.

The National Association of Securities Dealers barred Reinhardt in 2001 from selling securities, and the state Securities Division issued a cease and desist order against him in 2007 for the unregistered sale of securities.


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  • 678devilish Aug 20, 2014

    Will the victims get their money back? Then putting this man behind bars is not helping them in any way. Yet he should pay, one way or the other. What he did was totally wrong.

  • HailBasket Aug 19, 2014

    Putting him in jail doesn't help the victims he swindled. He should have to pay all of the money he stole back to the victims with interest.

  • Arthur Raleigh Aug 19, 2014
    user avatar

    My $267,000 without any paperwork or checking on his credentals?

  • Forthe Newssite Aug 19, 2014
    user avatar

    my favorite censor must be working today......my posts are just not getting through.....

    This pitiful excuse for a human needs to have every single asset he has stripped from him, sell his high end items, his home and cars and confiscate his bank accounts .....just for starters-oh and his retirement account as well in an effort to pay something back to the people he stole from.....

  • Glock07 Aug 19, 2014

    Bury this guy, awful person.

  • lec02572 Aug 19, 2014

    How about life in prison and the loss of any assets he may have to help pay back some of these peoples losses.

  • Justin Case Aug 19, 2014
    user avatar

    Nothing like a letter to stop a criminal. Works about as effectively as a protective order, I hear.

    It's ok to politely but pointedly ask to see someone's credentials. Or seek reliable 3rd party confirmation of someone's business status.

    I hope he does serious time. This is as bad as an assault, causing life altering effects.

  • LocalYokel Aug 19, 2014

    It would surprise me if the guilty serve more than 30 days in jail. Big crooks and white collar crime is practically encouraged by light punishment and high potential gains.

    Small crooks are the scape goats and punished severely.