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NEWSLETTERS & ALERTS
A Trusted Broker for 30+ Years Ended Up Stealing Client Blind
by Howard Haykin
Unfortunately, the strong bond and trust between the two men belied the broker’s true criminal intents. In October 2015, the broker started misappropriating funds from the customer IRA account. He did so by forging wire transfer letters of authorization (“LOA”) to permit transfers from the customer’s account to the broker's own SunTrust Bank account. All told, the broker made 74 unauthorized transfers totaling $911,500 - in most cases selling securities in the customer's account and associating the customer's name with the bank account number.
After the customer's death, the executor for the customer’s estate frequently tried to get explanations for the numerous wire transfers. Finally, in May 2019, the broker confessed that he had stolen money from the customer’s account, along with money from another elderly customer.
INVESTOR TAKE AWAY. A system of “checks and balances” is a critical underpinning for financial security – particularly among elderly investors who no longer can look out for themselves. Good and trustworthy brokers and investment advisers will openly welcome the addition of a competent, trusting and independent financial watchdog for customers and clients, young or old.
[For further details, click on … SEC Press Release and SEC Complaint.]