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Erie County man sentenced for mishandling funds

SANDUSKY - An Erie County investment adviser was sentenced yesterday to four years in prison for mishandling more than $90,000 in client funds and stealing more than $86,000 from a Perkins Township condominium association.

Steven R. Lee, 54, of Perkins Township was given concurrent four-year terms for mishandling of funds as an investment adviser; attempting mishandling of funds as an investment adviser; attempted engaging in fraud as an investment adviser, and theft, all third-degree felonies. He also was given a concurrent 16-month prison term for a fourth-degree felony charge of theft during his sentencing by Judge Roger Binette of Erie County Common Pleas Court.

According to authorities, Lee mishandled $90,642 in investor funds by placing the money in a personal account instead of clients' brokerage accounts. In addition, Lee took $6,000 from an elderly neighbor without buying an agreed-upon security and stole $86,675.24 from the Timber Lakes Condominium.

Lee was indicted on 15 related accounts in November, 2003, and pleaded guilty as part of a plea bargain in February.

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