Michael Donnelly, formerly the president of Coastal Investment Advisors Inc. and its brokerage firm, has been sentenced to 99-months behind bars. Donnelly pleaded guilty to securities fraud and wire fraud that involved stealing money from older investors and unsophisticated investors.
From ’07 through the middle of ’14, Donnelly, a Florida broker, bilked clients and used the funds for his own expenses, including rent, private school tuition for his kids, golf club memberships, and car payments.
He gave investors bogus trade confirmations and account statements to keep the fraud going and claimed that their investments were doing well. In addition to his time in prison, Donnelly is permanently barred from the industry, has to pay $1.99M in restitution, and will serve three years of supervised release. Last year, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed civil charges against Donnelly.
In other senior fraud news, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority announced that since launching its Securities Helpline for Seniors last year, customers have received back over $1.25m because of calls about possible elder fraud. Already, the hotline has answered 4,000 phone calls from people of all ages.