A Honolulu financial advisor is accused of stealing at least $2.2 million from 22 active or retired Honolulu city employees' deferred compensation accounts.

Bruce M. Harada, an independent financial advisor for ING North America Corp., convinced active and retired city employees to withdraw money from their deferred compensation accounts to reinvest in mutual funds, said Chris Van Marter, deputy city prosecutor.

Instead of putting the money in a mutual fund, Harada put the money in his personal account and spent it for his own uses, Van Marter said.

The scheme came to light when one victim contacted ING about the withdrawal of his funds. Harada is charged in Hawaii state court with securities fraud and money laundering and scheduled for trial next month. He pleaded not guilty June 28. The fraud allegedly took place over a five-year period ending in May.

-Karen DeMasters