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Local News

September 17, 2013

Man accused of defrauding seniors says he has 'nothing to hide'

PEABODY — A Peabody resident and former broker has been named in an administrative complaint that claims he defrauded four former elderly clients out of almost $500,000.

Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin, whose office filed the complaint, calls the incidents “an egregious example of senior financial abuse.”

Three of the four former clients live on the North Shore.

Galvin alleges that John Michael Babiarz, 39, of 67 Pulaski St., illegally transferred clients’ assets to personal and family accounts without their consent, according to a statement from Galvin’s office. Some of the money went to pay $1,000 in taxes to the city of Peabody, according to the complaint.

The complaint alleges that “John Michael Babiarz ... willfully engaged in unregistered and fraudulent activities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in violation of the Act and Regulations.”

“They all are false,” Babiarz said of the allegations, when reached yesterday. He said he had to be careful about what he says, but he intends to fight the charges. He also said he was blind-sided by the complaint.

“The first I’m hearing about this are the details from the release,” Babiarz said. He said information he has seen appears incorrect and twisted. “I am going to deny them and have everything explained. There is nothing to hide there.”

“There was no fraud done intentionally, absolutely no fraud done intentionally,” Babiarz said.

The administrative complaint against Babiarz “seeks a full accounting and return to investors of their losses, a permanent bar from the securities business in Massachusetts, and an administrative fine,” the statement said. The fine is determined by the hearing officer and is limited by statute, said Galvin spokesman Brian McNiff, who said the proceedings take place within the office’s Securities Division.

“It would go before a hearings officer, and that officer would render a verdict,” McNiff said.

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