NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A former stockbroker has been indicted for cheating investors out of their savings. Prosecutors say in some cases the scheme involved altering checks in a very creative way.

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said Wednesday the con man has blown the money he stole on gambling, reports CBS 2’s John Slattery.

“The tragedy is this guy has no money to pay back,” Hynes said.

1010 WINS’ Terry Sheridan reports

The former stockbroker who allegedly bilked investors out of more than $200,000 is 24-year-old Boris Shteyngart. And prosecutors said his first name was a key element in the scam.

He allegedly instructed investors to the make checks out to “BORI.”

“He was falsely claiming Bank of Rhode Island,” Hynes said. “The defendant altered the check, adding an S, completing the payee line with his name, as you can see.”

Shteyngart allegedly ran the scam out of an apartment house in Sheepshead Bay, making cold calls. One of the victims, 70-year-old Clyde Nichols, a retired engineer in Utah who lost $11,000, spoke to Slattery by phone.

“It’s terrible. You depend on brokers. To be scammed like this is terrible,” Nichols said.

Hynes said one victim, a Vietnam War veteran, wired $142,000, while another victim, who is 84 years old, lost $10,000, which was a substantial part of his life savings.

Two years ago Shteyngart was stripped of his broker’s license because of misconduct. His attorney, James Kilduff, said that’s not the case now.

“He denies the allegations, certainly denies the allegations. It’s a misunderstanding,” Kilduff said.

Hynes said he believes there might be other victims and is advising them to contact the DA’s office, especially if they thought their investment was going to an account with the Bank of Rhode Island.

Prosecutors said the accused con man was caught when potential victims called legitimate brokerage firms to ask questions. Shteyngart has been charged with grand larceny, criminal impersonation, forgery and scheme to defraud. He is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail. If convicted, he can be sentenced to up to 40 years in prison.

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