Local News

Some charges dropped against Durham man accused of bilking investors

Posted August 12

— A dozen fraud charges were dropped Tuesday against a Durham man accused of bilking retired teachers out of their savings.

Walter Ray Reinhardt, 64, still faces more than 40 charges of securities fraud, common law forgery and common law uttering. Prosecutors said some charges were dismissed because one alleged victim died and a second was out of the country and couldn't testify.

Reinhardt 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.

Investigators with the North Carolina Secretary of State's Office said the majority of investors were retired teachers who were persuaded to roll over their retirement funds into investments with Reinhardt.

In some cases, investigators said, Reinhardt cut and taped clients’ signatures to agreements to invest their money in the Virginia businesses without their authorization.

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.

Jury selection in Reinhardt's trial is expected to start Wednesday.

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