INVESTMENT ADVISOR CHARGED WITH FRAUD FOR STEALING FROM CLIENTS

On July 20, 2020, the SEC charged former registered representative and investment adviser with fraud for stealing from brokerage customers and an elderly advisory client. The SEC’s complaint alleges that the financial advisor falsified internal documents in order to effect dozens of unauthorized wire transfers, totaling millions of dollars, from the accounts of brokerage customers to his personal bank account.  According to the complaint, to generate some of the funds that he misappropriated, The financial advisor sold securities without customer authorization. As alleged, the financial advisor employed various methods to conceal his misconduct from his brokerage customers, including diverting account statements to addresses he controlled. The complaint further alleges that the financial advisor made almost $1.5 million in unauthorized transfers from the accounts of an elderly advisory client, sending nearly $1 million to himself, and using some of the remainder to repay funds he had taken from a brokerage customer. The financial advisor also allegedly misappropriated funds from the client that originated from 529-plan college savings accounts held at another financial institution for the benefit of the her grandchildren. The complaint alleges that the financial advisor used the funds he misappropriated from his customers and client to support his lavish lifestyle.  [https://www.sec.gov/news/press-release/2020-158]