Starting in 2008, Blake B. Richards instructed at least seven clients to write checks to entities he controlled, such as “Blake Richards Investments” or “BMO Investments,” with the understanding that those funds would be invested in fixed-income investments, variable annuities or equities, according to a case filed in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Georgia. Instead, those funds went to pay his personal expenses, the Securities and Exchange Commission said, and Mr. Richards would provide fictitious account statements.
The majority of the funds were retirement savings or life insurance proceeds from deceased spouses, the SEC said in a press release.
“None of the investments appeared on the client’s brokerage account statements, and Mr. Richards received no commission income from these investments,” the SEC said in a statement. “Mr. Richards then siphoned off the funds entrusted to him for his personal use.”
The ruling Thursday came as part of a summary judgment by Judge Willis B. Hunt Jr.
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