Ex-investment counselor failed to pay $3.5 million in restitution


A former Annapolis investment counselor convicted of swindling clients out of millions of dollars will return to court for sentencing next month, but on the least serious of alleged probation violations.

Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Ronald A. Silkworth will decide April 3 what to do about the failure of Joshua Fry, 67, to pay restitution on more than $3.5 million still due from cheating 131 clients out of $4.7 million in the early 1990s.

"He has not written one check, not one money order," said Carolyn H. Henneman, chief of the criminal investigation division of the Maryland attorney general's office, noting that Fry has not made significant efforts to find work. "He didn't pay a dime."

The state was able to recover some money by seizing his assets and through another case in which Fry's lawyer said his client helped the state.

But T. Joseph Touhey, Fry's lawyer, said the Washington man does not have the money. He described Fry as impoverished and in bad health, living on Social Security benefits, food stamps and a few thousand dollars a year for writing the financial advice newsletter, Wasting Assets, that he began in prison.

Silkworth ruled this week that Fry did not violate other terms of probation, though he teetered close by getting involved in an investment organization, Henneman said.

After serving 4 1/2 years of a eight-year prison term for theft and violating state securities and income tax laws, Fry was paroled in 1999. He is serving 10 years' probation.

Henneman alleged that Fry defied probation conditions by offering investment advice.

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