A former advisor will spend 2.5 years in a federal prison and pay back $437,000 to the 20 friends and neighbors he defrauded.

Stephen S. Eubanks, who pled guilty to wire fraud in April, was sentenced in a U.S. District Court in Massachusetts on Tuesday. He is a resident of Hingman, Massachusetts, about 20 miles from Boston.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, the advisor opened the hedge fund group Eubiquity Capital in 2010 and attracted some $700,000 by 2016.

Starting in 1992 and through last year, Eubanks was a registered representative. He started in the industry at IDS Life and American Express and then went on to work for Smith Barney, UBS, Bear Stearns, Oppenheimer and Bright Trading.

He was let go by Oppenheimer in 2006 after a customer complaint and by Bright Trading in August 2016 for not disclosing his work via Eubiquity Capital. Regulators barred him from the industry in November.

In 2013 and 2014, for instance, Eubanks “presented himself to acquaintances as a financial advisor running a hedge fund affiliated with Goldman Sachs, TD Ameritrade, UBS Bank and Fidelity Investments,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement. “One of the acquaintances invested $125,000 with Eubanks, while the other invested $20,000. In 2013, a Florida resident invested $50,000 with Eubanks.”

He used a large amount of funds raised for personal expenses. When clients asked him for their account statements, Eubanks would give them either fabricated statements or used statements from unrelated accounts.

“In some instances, Eubanks ran the fund as a Ponzi scheme, using money deposited with him by newer investors to pay returns to earlier investors,” the U.S. Attorney’s office explained.

— Check out 2 Men Who Bilked Retirement Plans Sentenced on ThinkAdvisor.