TRENTON, N.J. (AP / WCBS 880) – A Philadelphia estate lawyer whom prosecutors say headed an $8.5 million Ponzi scheme that cleaned out dozens of retirement accounts has been indicted on money laundering charges in a separate case.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond On The Story

The state sued Michal Kwasnik in civil court last week, seeking restitution and a court order to stop Kwasnik and others associated with him from selling investment securities.

On Monday, an indictment was unsealed that accuses Kwasnik of stealing more than $1 million from a client.

Kwasnik had sold investments through Liberty State Financial Holdings Corp. and its subsidiary, Liberty State Benefits of Pennsylvania. The companies, which filed for bankruptcy in July, specialize in buying life insurance policies at a discount from retirees.

New Jersey attorney general Paula Dow called the scheme “an outright theft by people who presented themselves as legitimate investment advisors and as a legitimate attorney.”

Kwasnik has previously maintained his innocence.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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