The Securities and Exchange Commission charged an advisor in Manchester, Connecticut, with defrauding a retired couple who were longtime clients out of nearly all the value in their investment portfolio.
In a complaint filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, the SEC alleged that, in 2018, Hai Khoa Dang “gained complete control over the couple’s brokerage accounts and lied to them as he pursued an aggressive stock options trading strategy without the knowledge or informed consent of his clients.”
Within only 10 months, “Dang’s unauthorized options trading depleted virtually all $2.2 million of their retirement savings” and, as he was “losing the couple’s retirement savings, he repeatedly misled the couple about how much money they had lost and the causes of the losses,” according to the complaint.
The trading caused the value of the couple’s accounts to tumble from more than $2.2 million to about $27,000 between February 2018 and November 2019, according to the SEC.
Dang led the couple to believe he would invest most of their investment portfolio conservatively and would retain a minimum of $250,000 in cash in their accounts, the regulator said.