What You Need to Know
- The former NYLife rep was convicted last year of 11 counts of mail fraud, 11 counts of wire fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft.
- The ex-broker had faced a maximum penalty of 444 months in prison and ended up getting 132 months.
- He spent the client's money on items including a BMW, Rolex watches, guns, child support payments and a cruise to the Bahamas.
The former NYLife Securities rep who was accused of stealing $1.3 million from a 72-year-old client in 2020 and found guilty in 2021 of 11 counts of mail fraud, 11 counts of wire fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft was sentenced to 11 years in prison on Thursday for his scheme, according to court documents and the Department of Justice.
Furman Alexander Ford, 52, of Raleigh, North Carolina, had faced a maximum possible penalty of 444 months in prison, G. Norman Acker III, acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, said last year after Ford was convicted. The former rep ended up getting 132 months.
According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Ford was advising a 72-year-old client who had recently inherited real property valued at $1.3 million.
The former broker assisted in the sale of the property and the setting-up of a charitable annuity trust with NYL using the sale proceeds. The victim was his main client while employed at the firm, according to DOJ.
As part of Ford’s responsibility as the client’s financial agent, he drafted and submitted letters of withdrawal from the client’s annuity account to pay certain expenses. The funds were to then be electronically wired to the recipient as directed by the client with their full knowledge and consent.
During the investigation, however, FBI agents identified 20 separate fraudulent letters of withdrawal drafted by Ford and submitted to NYL headquarters in New York, on behalf of “Ms. Jones,” according to DOJ.