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Disbarred attorney gets 70 months in fraud

December 27, 2011 |  3:13 pm

A former Newport Beach attorney who was convicted last year in an investment fraud case has been sentenced to 70 months in prison.

Gerald M. Shaw was indicted in 2007 on federal fraud and money laundering charges for a scheme in which he and another man allegedly took millions of dollars from victims who were promised rates of return as high as 40% a week.

In addition to the 70-month sentence, Shaw was ordered to pay $4.3 million in restitution.

Prosecutors said Shaw and Gregory De Lavalette of Rancho Santa Fe, who allegedly worked for Shaw, solicited investments from people by falsely stating that the money would be used to trade European bank instruments. Instead, the indictment said, the men used the money to pay personal and business expenses

Shaw pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in July 2010 as part of a plea bargain. His law license was suspended shortly afterward. He was disbarred in July 2011.

Lavalette also pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and is awaiting sentencing.

Each defendant could have received a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

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-- Abby Sewell

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