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Ocean Springs retirement investor seeks delay in fraud trial

GULFPORT — The attorney for an Ocean Springs retirement investor accused of taking more than $1 million of his clients’ money is asking to postpone trial because of plea negotiations.

The Sun Herald reports a federal grand jury indicted Eduardo Diaz in October on four counts of investor fraud and two counts of wire fraud. He was set for trial in December, but the trial was moved to the Feb. 1 court calendar. Diaz has pleaded not guilty.

Since then, two attorneys representing Diaz have withdrawn. Biloxi attorney William Carl Miller is now representing him. In his motion, Miller said Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrea Jones has no objection to postponing the trial.

Diaz, court records say, made fraudulent statements about potential investments to persuade clients to invest large amounts of money, which he later used illegally.

Diaz is accused of using some of his clients’ money to “enrich” himself, records say, while other clients’ money was used to cover the costs of other investor dividends or to refund or repay previous investors in an attempt to cover up a scheme to defraud them.

The wire fraud is related to check payments, all of which were written for thousands of dollars, from bank accounts in Florida, Kentucky, Arizona and Virginia for deposit into various accounts in Mississippi.

In order to carry out the scheme, records say, Diaz consistently misled clients who had relied on him for years to make sound, secure retirement investments for them.

Diaz is accused of committing the crimes in Harrison and Jackson counties between February 2012 and his Oct. 6 indictment.

He is free on a $25,000 unsecured bond.

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