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The Associated Press September 14, 2011, 11:21AM ET

NY investment advisor pleads guilty to fraud

Federal prosecutors say a 63-year-old investment adviser has pleaded guilty to mail fraud charges, admitting he fooled investors in a Ponzi scheme and forged homeowners' signatures to obtain more than $2 million from mortgages.

Arthur Strasnick, of Ormond Beach, Fla., was president of Backstreet Associates Inc. from 2003 to 2006, with offices in Ormond Beach and later in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. He could face up to 20 years in prison at sentencing Jan. 19 and be ordered to pay restitution and a fine.

Authorities say Strasnick admitted promising returns of 12 to 20 percent on investments but made purported interest payments from additional investor funds.

He also pleaded guilty to illegally possessing another person's identification, admitting using it to open an American Express credit account in his own name.

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