Mark Spangler, former chairman of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, was sentenced Thursday to 16 years in prison for fraud and money laundering for secretly funneling approximately $47.7 million of clients’ money into two risky startup companies that he co-founded.
In May 2012, the SEC said that Spangler funneled clients’ money into these private ventures despite representing that he would invest primarily in publicly traded securities. Such risky investments were inconsistent with the investment strategies that Spangler promised his clients and contrary to their investment objectives, the SEC said.
Seattle-based Spangler served as chairman and CEO of one of the companies, which is now bankrupt, the SEC says. He was chairman of NAPFA in the late 1990s.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington and the FBI filed parallel criminal charges against Spangler. Spangler’s inactive membership in NAPFA was suspended in October 2011 when the FBI investigation was launched.
At the sentencing on Wednesday, The Seattle Times quoted U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez as stating that the lengthy sentence was based in part on Spangler’s lack of remorse for deceiving his friends and clients.
“Something happened to change Mark Spangler from the person his family knew, someone his early clients knew, into someone who was willing to lie and cheat and swindle,” Martinez said during sentencing.