An Anne Arundel County investment adviser was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Baltimore to four years and three months in prison for bilking clients out of $2.3 million during a 12-year period.
The sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge Andre M. Davis on Charles J. Kristie of the 600 block of Andrew Hill Road in Arnold was the maximum allowed under federal sentencing guidelines -- and 10 months longer than prosecutors had asked for under a plea agreement in which Kristie pleaded guilty to wire fraud.
Rejecting the argument of Kristie's lawyer, Francis R. Laws, that the less time Kristie spent in jail the more time he would have to earn money to repay his victims, Davis said, "The interest in this case in retribution is paramount."
In a separate action last month, Davis ordered Kristie to pay $2.6 million in civil claims brought against him by seven investors from Virginia and California.
Kevin Arthur, an attorney who represents one of the investors, said his client, a small business owner in her late 50s, lost more than $1 million by investing with Kristie.
"She expected she would be able to retire at 60. Now, she's not able to do that," said Arthur.
Arthur said he and other attorneys had identified about $300,000 of Kristie's assets to be divided among the defrauded investors, but it was unclear how much each would receive.
"I think my client would say that justice was done by giving [Kristie] the maximum sentence that the court was able to give," Arthur said.