Like most other professions, financial services has its share of bad apples. However, the past year had its share of advisors and brokers who proved to be more like rotten or poisoned apples.
From conducting Ponzi schemes, stealing from the elderly and veterans, to creating elaborate investment scams using the names of famous people, 2020 had its fair share of fraud charges and prison sentences against advisors and brokers, as well as scammers claiming to be investment advisors.
Then there were the advisors who, after conducting their scams, tried to evade capture by the FBI. In one of those cases, the advisor is still at large.
But topping them all was the advisor who was charged with murdering one of his clients.
ThinkAdvisor searched through Securities and Exchange Commission and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority enforcement actions, as well as local news outlets, to find some of the worst advisors of the year.
(Check out 12 Worst Financial Advisors in America: 2016)
Some of these advisors were sentenced in 2020 for earlier charges and others are pending sentencing and/or have agreed to disgorge their ill-gotten gains. There were many fraudsters to choose from, but we narrowed it down to 10.
Check out the gallery above to see the top 10 worst financial advisors — and fraudsters impersonating advisors— in America.