Marietta financial adviser found guilty of fraud

The jury deliberated about 12 hours over three days before finding him guilty in 13 of 29 counts, including multiple violations of the Georgia Securities Act, theft by taking and exploitation of an elder person.

It deadlocked on the other 16 counts.

Constantino, who maintained his innocence, faces up to 95 years in prison when Cobb Superior Court Judge Adele Grubbs sentences him Feb. 18.

Constantino's attorney, Frank J. Marquez, wouldn't discuss whether his client will appeal. He noted the jury did not convict on all 29 counts.

"I am pleased Mr. Constantino was not convicted on 16 of the 29 counts," Marquez said. "It's our understanding that the other counts that he was charged with were closely contested by the jury."

The case involved Marietta resident Judy Cox, 83, who said she invested $2.7 million with Constantino from 2002 to 2005. Prosecutors and regulators said Constantino took investors' money for his own use.

He did so, they said, by creating a dummy corporations -- Atrium Secure Annuity, Atrium Global Partners, Atrium Investment Partners and several others -- to defraud investors.

Constantino, 65, had been in trouble with state securities regulators before. In 1997, he was ordered to stop selling securities in Georgia after he misrepresented to a customer that a $10,000 investment in a candy company was guaranteed against loss.

The following year, after he faced further action from state regulators for failure to maintain records, he agreed to not reapply for Georgia securities registration for five years.

But by 2002, he had obtained another registration from the state and was being investigated by Missouri securities officials.

In that state's probe, 14 Missouri residents invested $604,500 with Constantino and two Missouri men. But the investors were never told interest payments to them would come from later investors, that investigation found.

In 2003, the Missouri Secretary of State served Constantino with a cease and desist order and notified Georgia securities regulators.

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