PHOENIX — A former Arizona financial adviser faces having to spend two years in prison and pay restitution of $900,000 for defrauding investment clients.

The sentencing Monday of 44-year-old Bart James Ellis follows his pleading guilty in July to transactional money laundering.

In exchange for the guilty plea, 17 other counts against Ellis were dismissed including several counts of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Ellis spent $400,000 of his clients’ investment money on personal expenses and lost approximately $700,000 on risky stock trades in his online brokerage account.

The case stemmed from an Internal Revenue Service criminal investigation.

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