WASHINGTON, April 24 (UPI) -- A top Washington merchant banker whose investors included leading Republican figures has been convicted of swindling partners out of $13.8 million.
C. Gregory Earls was found guilty Friday of swindling $13.8 million from investors who thought they were buying into a high-tech venture, the Washington Post reported Saturday.
Earls was found guilty on all 22 counts in a trial where prosecutors cast him as a smooth-talking con man who used his southern charm and social connections to scam the likes of syndicated columnist George Will and former White House counsel C. Boyden Gray.
Earls persuaded his investors to put $20 million into USV Partners LLC, a private firm he created, ostensibly to buy shares in U.S. Technologies, which was publicly traded.
But prosecutors said Earls then stole $13.8 million of the partnership money and used it for everything from his daughter's Harvard tuition to jewelry from Tiffany & Co.
Earls plans to appeal his conviction.