A Pennsylvania investment advisor is facing a wide range of criminal charges at both the federal and civil levels. The 55-year-old was in the process of addressing those legal needs when a recent indictment was filed that includes new accusations of tax fraud. As the cases move forward, it is unclear whether he is continuing to run his business or provide financial services to current or new clients.
Last fall, the federal government filed a securities fraud case against the advisor, claiming that he defrauded his clients of approximately $1.2 million over a period of six years. He is accused of selling tax lien certificates and additional investments to clients, then taking their money and putting it to use for his own purposes. Specifically, he is alleged to have spent client funds on mortgage payments, home improvement projects and various shopping trips.
In the recent indictment, the U.S. Attorney for Western Pennsylvania asserts that the advisor filed falsified tax returns that excluded nearly $800,000 of income. Those returns spanned four tax years. The penalty for a conviction on those charges is three years in prison for each charge.
The judge in the federal case has allowed the advisor to travel outside of the state while he awaits his trial date. He was also allowed an extension to file additional motions in the case. The tax fraud and mail fraud trial is expected to last three weeks, although no court date has been set for the charges filed by the SEC. As the matter moves forward, the Pennsylvania man will have a number of tasks to accomplish in assisting his defense team in preparing for trial.
Source: indianagazette.com, "Investment adviser faces additional charges", Chauncey Ross, Feb. 26, 2016