A former securities agent in Grafton has pleaded guilty to seven counts
of selling securities as an unregistered agent in North Dakota.
Ross O. Haugen entered the seven guilty pleas without the aid of a
plea agreement. He did so Wednesday morning in Northeast District Court in
Haugen's attorney, Steven Meshbesher, told the court Haugen intends
to make full restitution to six Walsh County residents who invested a total of
approximately two-point-five-million-dollars sometime between the spring of
two-thousand-six to the fall of two-thousand-seven. Meshbesher told the court
Haugen will have the money raised by January 29th. If those two conditions
are met, a plea agreement will be submitted to Judge Laurie Fontaine. She
will have the option of accepting or rejecting that agreement. If she rejects
the plea agreement, Haugen can withdraw his guilty pleas and the case goes
to trial. If Haugen fails to come up with the money by that date, the open
guilty pleas stand and he'd be sentenced at the discretion of the judge, based
on recommendations by Meshbesher and Walsh County State's Attorney
The sentencing date is March 13th. Fontaine has ordered a pre-sentence
The seven counts of acting as an unregistered broker, dealer, or agent
in North Dakota are each punishable to a maximum of ten-years in prison and
a ten-thousand-dollar fine. Haugen's free on bond.
We wait and see what happens January 29th.