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Keith Ashley mugshot

Regulation and Compliance > Litigation

Ex-Broker Found Guilty of Fraud Related to Murder of Client

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What You Need to Know

  • The ex-Parkland Securities broker charged with murdering a client in 2020 was found guilty of multiple federal crimes.
  • Keith Todd Ashley was as found guilty by a jury of wire fraud, mail fraud bank fraud and carrying a firearm in relation to a crime of violence.
  • He faces up to life in federal prison at sentencing for the crimes he was found guilty of.

The former Parkland Securities broker who was charged with murdering a client in 2020 while he was already under investigation for a Ponzi scheme was found guilty on Wednesday of multiple federal crimes, according to court documents and Eastern District of Texas U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston.

Keith Todd Ashley, 50, of Allen, Texas, was found guilty by a jury of wire fraud, mail fraud, bank fraud and carrying a firearm in relation to a crime of violence. The verdict was reached after a week-long trial before Judge Amos L. Mazzant in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in Sherman.

Ashley faces up to life in federal prison at sentencing for the crimes he was found guilty of, Featherston said in a news release. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office, he added.

The Justice Department did not charge Ashley with murder. The status of Ashley’s separate murder case wasn’t clear on Friday, and the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office declined to comment on Friday.

Ashley was a registered nurse who also began working as an advisor and life insurance agent. According to information presented at his trial, starting in 2016, he began stealing money from his clients.

He promised his clients he would invest their money in financial products but instead used the funds to pay other clients, to keep his struggling brewery in business, to pay his personal bills and to fund a lavish lifestyle, according to Featherston and court documents.

In May 2016, Ashley started stealing investment funds from James “Jim” Seegan, of Carrollton, Texas. The scheme included Ashley transferring the client’s money into his personal accounts and changing the beneficiary of the Seegan’s life insurance to a trust controlled by Ashley.

On Feb. 19, 2020, Seegan, then 62, was found by his wife dead of a gunshot wound to the head, Carrollton police said at the time, adding: “Directly next to him was a typed note indicating it was a suicide.”

After Seegan’s death, Ashley went through elaborate steps to collect on the client’s life insurance policy, transfer funds from the victim’s bank account to himself, and attempt to obtain a copy of the victim’s autopsy report, according to Featherston.

Ashley was indicted by a federal grand jury on Nov. 12, 2020.

“Ashley went to great lengths to defraud clients that trusted him,” according to Featherston. “By plotting and causing the death of one client to steal his money, Ashley committed the ultimate betrayal of trust and decency and the jury saw Ashley for who he is, a con-artist who would go so far as murder to get what he wanted.”


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