May 7, 2013 1:46 AM by Connie Tran, KSBY News

Prominent businessman in jail for securities fraud and embezzlement concerning locals

A prominent Central Coast businessman remains in jail Monday night, accused of securities fraud and embezzlement.

Al Moriarty, who is 79-years old, ran an insurance company out of Grover Beach, and is well known for being a Cal Poly alum and contributing to his alma mater.

Moriarty claims his financial troubles began with the recession of 2008, and banks eventually pulling his line of credit. He filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in January in Washington, where he has a home. Now, he faces no less than 19 civil lawsuits for unpaid promissory notes and allegations of fraud elder abuse and breach of contract.

Moriarty is well known on the Central Coast. He played at Cal Poly on the undefeated football team in 1953 before graduating from the school. In fact, he donated more than $600,000 to fund the scoreboard at the Alex G. Spanos football stadium, and it bears his name.

In the 1960s, he also coached at Mission College Prep.

He built a name for himself as a reputable investment firm, until these allegation came to light. Dozens of his clients say they became concerned when their checks stopped coming, with so many complaints and lawsuits, some have gone as far to accuse him of running a Ponzi scheme. Court records show he owes more than $22 million dollars to local clients and creditors.

On Monday night, KSBY spoke to a couple of local financial advisors. Connie Framberger, who specializes in professional insurance services in San Luis Obispo, said the best way for a person to check if an investor is the right fit, is to check where they went to school, what professional organizations they belong to, and for references. She said, even though Moriarty may have been able to vouch for all of those things, he still may have been able to fall through the cracks. She said the bottom line is, when it comes to investing and buying, if something doesn't feel right, don't purchase it.

Moriarty remains in jail in Kitsap County in Washington under $5 million dollars bail. He is not waiving extradition, so he will stay in that jail until he is moved to San Luis Obispo County. This could take up to 90 days.

» There are multiple updates to this story. Please click here to get the latest information.

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