Local News

Durham man charged with bilking investors out of $1M

Posted November 19, 2010 1:10 p.m. EST
Updated November 19, 2010 4:27 p.m. EST

— A Durham man has been charged with defrauding investors out of more than $1 million, authorities said Friday.

Walter Ray Reinhardt, 60, is charged with 38 counts of securities fraud and 12 counts each of common law forgery and common law uttering.

U.S. marshals apprehended Reinhardt in Louisiana in late October, and he was extradited to North Carolina. He was being held Friday in the Durham County jail under a $10 million bond.

Investigators with the North Carolina Secretary of State's Office said the majority of the investors are retired teachers who were persuaded to roll over their retirement funds into investments with Reinhardt. Sixteen victims have been identified so far, and investigators said they believe more will be found.

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 to10 percent interest over four years.

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.