The U.S. Department of Justice announced Monday that Montecito resident Efstratios “Elias” Argyropoulos, 72, pleaded guilty to defrauding investors who’d transferred money to him to purchase Facebook and Twitter shares during the companies’ initial public offerings. Instead of buying the shares, Argyropoulos admitted to spending the funds on day-trading stocks and personal expenses, such as landscaping, utilities, and legal bills from an unrelated case. Authorities estimate investors’ losses totaled nearly $1.5 million. Argyropoulos faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.


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