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What were they thinking: Rogue advisors on parade

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A Texas financial advisor was sentenced in April 2008 after pleading guilty to wire fraud. He raised $805,000 from investors through wire transfers, for oil and gas drilling projects that his firm did not own or control. He was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution of $805,000.

A Connecticut insurance agent had his license revoked for using clients’ assets without permission for his own business and personal gain. State regulators found evidence of forgery and conversion of client funds to the agent’s personal and business bank accounts. The funds were held from four to 10 months before being reinvested on behalf of the clients.

A California life insurance agent was convicted and sentenced on charges he defrauded an elderly couple of nearly $300,000. He was sentenced to serve a two-year prison term and pay $291,576 in restitution to the victims’ estate, in addition to $5,000 in fines. California authorities determined that between June 1, 1994 and August 31, 2002, the agent became the trustee of his elderly client’s estate. He then took nearly $300,000 in client funds without the person’s knowledge or consent.

Harry Lew is the communications and content director for the National Ethics Bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]