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San Diego Attorney Pleads|Guilty to Wire Fraud

SAN DIEGO (CN) - A San Diego attorney faces up to 20 years in federal prison after pleading guilty Tuesday to defrauding his clients and people who "invested" in their cases.

Todd E. Macaluso, 52, of Rancho Santa Fe, pleaded guilty to wire fraud, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. He admitted defrauding clients and investors by "entering into funding agreements that put his clients' personal injury cases up as collateral without their knowledge or consent."

Macaluso admitted that he forged his clients' signatures and used forged notary stamps and signatures to persuade his "investors" to advance him millions of dollars.

Prosecutors said he funder his personal injury law practice through these "funding agreements," which he concealed from his clients.

Macaluso will be sentenced on July 13, where the amount of restitution also will be ordered.

Rancho Santa Fe, an unincorporated, gated community in North San Diego County, is one of the wealthiest communities in the United States.

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