What You Need to Know
- The broker took unauthorized withdrawals from the client's annuity trust, prosecutors said.
- The ex-broker was already convicted of Medicare fraud last year.
- He faces a possible maximum penalty of 444 months in prison when sentenced in August.
A federal jury has convicted a former New York Life broker who was accused of stealing $1.3 million from a 72-year-old client, according to G. Norman Acker III, acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
Furman Alexander Ford, 51, of Raleigh, North Carolina, was found guilty of 11 counts of mail fraud, 11 counts of wire fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft. He faces a maximum possible penalty of 444 months in prison when sentenced during the Aug. 3, 2021, term of court, Acker said.
Ford was advising a client who had recently inherited real estate valued at $1.3 million. The broker was with New York Life from 2007 to 2015, according to his report on the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s BrokerCheck website. He is no longer registered as a broker, according to BrokerCheck.
“We fully cooperated with the appropriate authorities throughout these proceedings and reimbursed the victim for her losses,” a spokesperson for New York Life told ThinkAdvisor on Wednesday.
Thomas Reston Wilson, an attorney for the law firm Greene & Wilson who was representing Ford, according to court documents, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
On Oct. 8, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Ford with conspiring to defraud the Medicare program by submitting false claims for services that were never provided. On Aug. 26, Jimmy Guess, 62, of Greensboro, pleaded guilty to the conspiracy to defraud Medicare in the same case.
Ford assisted in the sale of his client’s property and the setup of a charitable annuity trust with NYL using the sale proceeds, according to Acker, who noted the victim was Ford’s primary client while employed at the firm.