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NorCal Attorney Accused Of Ponzi Scheme

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A former San Francisco attorney is facing charges that he defrauded investors of $7 million in a Ponzi scheme.

Seventy-two-year-old Robert Tunnell has been indicted by a federal grand jury on seven counts of mail fraud, 13 counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering.

The indictment was handed down on Thursday.

Prosecutors say Tunnell, a graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School, held himself out as a conservative investor to friends and relatives, but actually took great risks with their money.

He allegedly lost $7 million of the $10 million he collected between 2006 until his arrest in June and used the rest to pay other investors and a personal debt. Prosecutors say he falsely told investors he was making money.

A call to his attorney on Saturday was not immediately returned.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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