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Regulation and Compliance > Federal Regulation

Ex-Advisor Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison for $4.7M Embezzlement

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What You Need to Know

  • The financial professional stole from a client victim and failed to report the income, according to prosecutors.
  • He was discharged from Valeo Financial in 2022 after the allegations, the SEC says.
  • A judge imposed the sentence and ordered the advisor to pay more than $6.4 million in restitution.

A former Indiana financial advisor who embezzled nearly $4.7 million from a client has been sentenced to four years in federal prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud and filing a false tax return in connection with the theft, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Christopher Turean, 43, stole about $4.7 million from a client victim and failed to report the illicit income on his taxes, filing false returns that concealed more than $1.7 million in taxes owed, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana announced last week.

The resident of Fishers, Indiana, used the funds in part to gamble, according to prosecutors.

The Securities and Exchange Commission record for Christopher G. Turean states that he worked for Valeo Financial Advisors from September 2012 to February 2022, when he was discharged over allegations he misappropriated client funds.

The Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Postal Service initiated an investigation into the allegations around that time, according to the SEC.

Turean concealed his illegal activity from his employer, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which didn’t identify the firm by name.

“Investors have a right to trust that professionals obligated to act in their best interests aren’t stealing their hard-earned money,” Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, said in a news release.

“This criminal used his position as a trusted professional to steal nearly five million dollars, and then concealed nearly two million dollars in taxes owed. The serious prison sentence imposed here demonstrates the commitment of (the IRS Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service) and our federal prosecutors to aggressively prosecute financial crimes and hold fraudsters accountable,” Myers explained.

“Turean abused his position of trust by stealing from his investors for his own selfish purposes. He not only violated the law, but he also betrayed the trust and confidence of his investors who relied on him to act in their best interests,” said Justin Campbell, a special agent in charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation for the Chicago Field Office.

“This case should serve as a stark reminder of the vital importance of safeguarding one’s personal finances and remaining vigilant against those who seek to exploit their positions of trust for personal gain,” Campbell explained.

More Details

Sometime around 2015, the victim individual became Turean’s client, depositing their personal funds into an investment account managed by an investment company, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Turean was to invest this money on the victim’s behalf.

On July 16, 2019, Turean created a company called “SCNT LLC” and opened a bank account that he alone controlled. Turean began to transfer money from the victim’s investment account to his SCNT account, according to prosecutors.

Turean then used the victim’s investment money to gamble and pay down a home equity loan on his house. He concealed his illegal activity from his employer and the victim by sending fraudulent updates describing the embezzled funds as investments in real estate, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

U.S. District Court Judge Matthew P. Brookman imposed the sentence, ordered that Turean be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for three years following his release from federal prison, and pay more than $6.4 million in restitution.

Image: Shutterstock


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