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Man sentenced to 20 years in $17M scheme

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A Northern California man who was convicted of perpetrating a $17 million Ponzi scheme that defrauded dozens of elderly investors has been sentenced to 20 years in state prison.

California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris and Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch announced Monday that Aldo Joseph Baccala was also ordered to pay a fine of $6.4 million.

Ravitch said investigators expended enormous resources to catch Baccala, whose scam cheated victims of their homes and retirement savings.

Baccala was arrested in June 2012 and charged with grand theft, securities fraud and elder abuse; then in March of this year, he pleaded no contest to 140 counts.

He was convicted of using his Petaluma, California-based company to solicit investment money from his victims for a variety of ventures.

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