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Moriarty pleads not guilty 

The former Grover Beach financial consultant facing seven felonies and 19 civil suits for allegedly operating a “Ponzi-like scheme” and defrauding clients out of some $22 million is fighting the criminal charges against him.

On May 29, Moriarty, 80, pleaded not guilty to the charges, which range from grand theft by embezzlement to selling securities and investments without a license.

His attorney, Tom Allen, also requested a hearing to reduce the elderly Moriarty’s bail so that he might be released from custody. He’s currently holed up in San Luis Obispo County Jail on $5 million bail.

In addition to his criminal woes, Moriarty filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in July 2012, claiming some $18 million in debt following the multitude of civil lawsuits piling up against him.

Moriarty is due back in court on June 12.

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