What You Need to Know
- The former Cetera broker allegedly defrauded clients out of $1.02 million.
- He pleaded guilty to six counts of wire fraud and two counts of bank fraud in January.
- He was accused of misappropriating client money and opening lines of credit in clients' names without their knowledge.
A former Cetera Advisor Networks broker has been sentenced to more than five years in federal prison for six counts of wire fraud and two counts of bank fraud in connection with his defrauding of clients and misappropriating their funds to buy a house and pay off his personal credit card debt, according to court documents and the Justice Department.
The ex-broker, David Aaron Rockwell, 45, of Cape Coral, Florida, pleaded guilty on Jan. 14.
The 63-month sentence, handed down by U.S. District Judge John L. Badalamenti on Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida in Fort Myers, also included a money judgment of $1.02 million, the proceeds of his alleged wire and bank fraud, Karin Hoppmann, acting U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Florida, said on Wednesday.
The judge also ruled that, upon release from prison, Rockwell will be on supervised release for a term of three years for his wire fraud and five years for his bank fraud, all to run concurrently.
Badalamenti also placed additional conditions on his supervised release that included his participation in substance abuse and mental health treatment programs.
Rockwell was registered as a broker with Cetera from 2015-2018, according to his report on the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s BrokerCheck website. He was terminated by Cetera on Nov. 14, 2018, after notifying the firm he had been charged with a felony, according to a disclosure on his report.
Rockwell was charged with aggravated stalking in September 2018. He pleaded guilty to an amended charge and the case was dismissed, according to BrokerCheck.
Cetera did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.