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Published November 17, 2011, 11:59 AM

After Dozens of Charges Dropped in Plea Agreement, Former Stockbroker Haugen Pays $186K in Restitution

WDAZ-TV - The former Grand Forks and Grafton, ND, stockbroker accused of bilking around $3.5 million from multiple clients has reached a plea agreement with prosecutors.

By: Rick Abbott, WDAZ

WDAZ-TV - The former Grand Forks and Grafton, ND, stockbroker accused of bilking around $3.5 million in different cases from multiple clients has reached a plea agreement with prosecutors.

Ross Haugen pleaded guilty earlier this week to two counts of acting as an unregistered advisor, a Class B felony.

Haugen faced a total of 63 charges in four different cases. Of those 63, 54 were dismissed Tuesday as a condition of the agreement.

According to a Walsh County clerk of court, Haugen posted the more than $186,000 in restitution to the victims.

The defense and prosecution could not reach agreement on seven other counts, including two counts of acting as an unregistered broker or dealer, two counts of offer or sale of securities as a non-registered dealer, one count of theft of property and two counts of fraudulent practices.

A scheduling conference for the charges that couldn't be agreed upon has been set for November 30.

Plea agreement details

As part of the plea agreement, Haugen had to admit to the criminal activity and could not rely upon an "Alford" plea, under which the defendant wouldn't have to admit the act and could retain innocence.

According to a Walsh County clerk of court, Haugen also signed an unsecured appearance bond for $500,000. That means, if he doesn't show up for his next court appearance, he could be fined for that amount.

Haugen agreed to three years of supervised probation with monthly check-ins. The probation officer is allowed full access to all of Haugen's computers and financial records, including bank accounts, investment accounts, credit card accounts, trust accounts and any other type of record relating to his finances.

Haugen can't be involved in any financial transactions that fall under the North Dakota Century Code or the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934.

He is also not allowed contact with the victims.

Haugen has not been registered as a securities agent in North Dakota since he withdrew the registration in 2004 as the Securities Department was preparing to revoke it.

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