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How low can they go?

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A state of Washington advisor is going to prison for six years for embezzling $300,000 from disabled clients’ retirement funds. He apparently served as an “organizational representative payee” of Social Security benefits for over 750 Washington clients. Rather than attending to their medical, food, shelter and clothing needs, he spent their Social Security disability benefits on luxury cars, vacations to Jamaica’s Club Hedonism, Adult Friend Finder services, and other personal items.

A former Ohio insurance agent pled guilty to mail fraud and tax evasion after he defrauded at least 10 clients out of nearly $5 million. Posing as an investment advisor, the man persuaded clients to invest their inheritances and insurance proceeds into his hedge fund. However, instead of investing the funds in the markets as promised, he used the money for personal expenses. He also admitted using funds from new clients to pay off redemption requests from existing clients. Finally, the agent used phony account statements and transferred funds through multiple accounts in an attempt to hide income from the IRS.

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A Massachusetts investment advisor has pled guilty to wire fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud two of his clients. The advisor admitted two counts of wire fraud, in which he defrauded two investment clients out of more than $750,000. The former registered representative for a subsidiary of a large mutual life insurer misappropriated more than $750,000 in client funds. He invested those funds, without the knowledge or consent of his two elderly victims, in an entity that turned out to be a massive Ponzi scheme. The advisor faces up to 30 years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release and a $1,000,000 fine on each charge.

Harry Lew is the communications and content director for the National Ethics Bureau.