July 12, 2006

Antiques Dealer Convicted of Larceny, Securities Counts

Note: this press release was issued by the Division of Criminal Justice and not by the Department of Banking.
Chief State's Attorney Christopher L. Morano announced today the conviction of a former Stafford Springs antiques dealer for larceny and securities violations stemming from investments in his business.

FRANK KANIA, age 48, currently of Ellington, was found guilty of 14 counts of Securities Fraud and one count each of Larceny in the Second Degree, Selling Unregistered Securities, and  Issuing a Bad Check.

Mr. Kania was convicted in a non-jury trial conducted before the Honorable Judge Gary White in the Superior Court for the Judicial District of Tolland at Rockville.

Mr. Kania, a former Connecticut state trooper, sold promissory notes that are considered securities under state law to multiple victims who believed he was using their money to purchase inventory for his antiques business.

According to the testimony at the trial, Mr. Kania failed to make payments on the notes, resulting in a loss of approximately $157,000 to the victims, who included two 78-year-old women.

The evidence showed that Mr. Kania committed securities fraud by failing to inform investors that he was using their investments not only to purchase antiques but in fact to make payment on $3 million in loans he had taken.

Larceny in the Second Degree and the securities fraud counts carry a maximum prison term of ten years each. Sale of Unregistered Securities carries a maximum of two years incarceration, and Issuing a Bad Check carries up to five years incarceration.

Mr. Kania is scheduled to be sentenced September 7, 2006, in Tolland Superior Court.

Following the conviction, Judge White increased bond for Mr. Kania to $300,000. If released on bond, Mr. Kania will be subject to electronic monitoring, the judge ordered.

The case was prosecuted by the Elder Services Bureau in the Chief State's Attorney's Rocky Hill office.

Banking Commissioner John P. Burke extended his compliments to the Elder Services Bureau of the Chief State’s Attorney’s Office on their successful prosecution of Mr. Kania.  Commissioner Burke stated that he was pleased that his Securities Division was able to provide assistance in this matter and he considers criminal prosecution by the State’s Attorney’s Office of white collar crime critical for investor protection in our state.