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Portfolio > Alternative Investments > Hedge Funds

Rogue advisors: Do the crime, do the time

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A Plymouth, Mass., financial advisor has pleaded guilty to mail fraud, wire fraud and filing false tax returns, adding 97 months to the nine- to 12-year sentence he’s currently serving for rape and kidnapping. The case started back in 1998 when the advisor was arrested at Connecticut’s Foxwoods Resort Casino for kidnapping and raping a woman. While investigating that charge, authorities discovered he used $4.3 million in client funds to personally speculate in oil futures. He also failed to report his trading profits to the IRS.

A Kirkland, Wash., financial planner who diverted $12 million from client accounts has been sentenced to more than six years in prison. The advisor apparently mailed fake account statements to clients in order to facilitate buying three expensive homes, two dozen vehicles and jewelry with client funds. When her broker-dealer uncovered her scam in a surprise audit, the advisor cooperated fully, accounting for every penny she stole. She also turned over $250,000 to the government along with the rest of her assets. But their combined value did not cover everything she stole from her clients. In return for her cooperation, the judge reduced her sentence from the eight years the prosecutor recommended. She faced a maximum sentence of 20 years.

An Ohio insurance agent who admitted stealing more than $234,000 from seniors will spend 15 years in prison. The agent mislead his senior market clientele into thinking they were making investments. Instead, he was using funds from new investors to pay older investors in a classic Ponzi scheme. Almost all of his clients were between the ages of 66 and 90, and one was legally blind. According to prosecutors, the agent’s scam was all about greed. The agent blamed his criminal conduct on his divorce.


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