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Ex-LPL Rep Pleads Guilty to Stealing More Than $600K From Retired Client

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What You Need to Know

  • A former LPL broker faces a maximum of 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud.
  • He transferred funds from his 73-year-old client's investment accounts to a joint bank account and withdrew most of it for his own use.
  • The SEC had also filed a complaint against the ex-broker, who FINRA barred from the industry last year.

The ex-LPL Financial broker who the Securities and Exchange Commission had said stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from a retired 73-year-old client by liquidating securities in her investment accounts and transferring the proceeds to a bank account held jointly with the client has now pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.

Matthew O. Clason, 39, of Cheshire, Connecticut, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty Wednesday before U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea in Hartford to misappropriating more than $600,000 from the client, according to Leonard C. Boyle, acting U.S. attorney for the District of Connecticut.

The judge scheduled sentencing for Aug. 5, at which time Clason faces a maximum term of 20 years in prison, Boyle said. Clason was released on bond pending sentencing.

Clason was a registered representative of Lincoln Financial Advisors from 2007-2016 and then LPL Financial from 2016-2020, according to his report on the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s BrokerCheck website.

LPL did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday. Lincoln Financial said only that “Clason has not been registered with Lincoln Financial Advisors Corporation since 2016.”

LPL discharged Clason Aug. 19. 2020, alleging he “maintained joint bank account with Firm customer, engaged in liquidations of securities in customer’s Firm account, transferred funds to joint bank account, and withdrew funds.” His activities were in violation of LPL’s rules and securities laws.

FINRA barred Clason from associating with any member firms in all capacities, starting Sept. 17, 2020. He consented to the sanction at the time without admitting or denying the findings of FINRA’s investigation.

More Details

Starting in about 2015, Clason provided investment services to the 73-year-old Connecticut resident, according to court documents and statements he made in court. The victim had at least five investments accounts with Clason and, in January 2018, Clason and the victim opened a joint bank account.

From 2018 to August 2020, Clason transferred more than $668,000 from the victim’s investment accounts into that joint account and, without the victim’s knowledge or authorization, withdrew more than $621,000 in cash from the account for his personal use, Boyle said.

Clason also transferred $5,000 directly from the joint account to his personal bank account and made two transfers from the joint account to pay his personal credit card debt, according to Boyle.

In a complaint filed Sept. 1 at the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, the SEC alleged that Clason stole more than $300,000 from the retired client, a woman who resided in New Britain, Connecticut.

(Image: Shutterstock)