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FLORIDA MAN ARRESTED FOR GRAND THEFT; ACCUSED OF MAKING MISREPRESENTATIONS AND OMITTING FACTS

 FLORIDA MAN ARRESTED FOR GRAND THEFT;
 ACCUSED OF MAKING MISREPRESENTATIONS AND OMITTING FACTS
 TALLAHASSEE, Fla. May 8 /PRNewswire/ -- A Florida man has been arrested for grand theft, dealing in stolen property and securities fraud in connection with his handling of customers' stock accounts in 1986 and 1987, State Comptroller Gerald Lewis said today.
 The defendant -- Michael Patrick Tourjie, 40, of Oviedo -- is accused of making various misrepresentations and omitting facts to persuade two clients to abandon conservative investments and put their money into high-risk penny stocks.
 One of the victims, an 84-year-old woman, lost more than $20,000 in the scheme, while the other victim lost an indeterminate sum but somewhat less than that amount.
 At the time, Tourjie worked as a sales agent in the Orlando office of Blinder Robinson, a defunct penny stock company against which Lewis' office took legal action in May 1989 for allegedly defrauding many of its customers. Tourjie also was named in the action against Blinder Robinson, and his alleged involvement led to Lewis' office referring the case to the Marion County State Attorney's office.
 Shortly after Lewis' action against the company, Blinder Robinson went out of business.
 Tourjie, who was named in a criminal information issued by the Marion County State Attorney's office in January 1991, had been a fugitive for nearly 16 months.
 He was arrested by the Seminole County Sheriff's Department Wednesday at a restaurant in Sanford. He is being held on $26,000 bail.
 "This demonstrates our continuing fight against penny stock fraud," Lewis said. "In cases where warranted, we will continue to seek criminal prosecutions."
 -0- 5/8/92
 /CONTACT: Don Saxon of the Florida Office of Comptroller, 904-488-9805; or Herb Hoskins of the Ocala State Attorney's Office, 904-620-3785/ CO: Florida Office of Comptroller ST: Florida IN: SU:


AH-JB-AW -- FL007 -- 8175 05/08/92 15:10 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 8, 1992
Words:308
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