SusanWalker, an ex investment adviser with Ameriprise Financial Inc. (AMP), has pleaded guilty to bilking two dozen clients of $980,000. She stole the funds from clients between ’08 and ’13, using the money to cover her own spending, including costly vacations.
Walker is accused of setting up investment accounts under several customers’ names but without their consent. She took money from clients’ retirement and brokerage accounts, placed the funds into the accounts under her control, and took out the funds to spend as she pleased. Ameriprise has paid back the customers that were harmed.
The firm fired Walker and her mother Barbara Stark in early 2013. Stark is not charged in this criminal case.
In a separate but related order seeking civil damages, Walker is accused of making unsuitable investment recommendations to customers and taking client money to pay for her own expenses, including her certification with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc.
The board suspended Walker certification last year after finding out that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority barred her (and Stark) for not providing documents in the wake of allegations that client funds were misappropriated. The board permanently revoked Walker’s certification this year.
The securities fraud was discovered two years ago during an inquiry by the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office into an unrelated settlement involving annuity sales. The office discovered withdrawals had been made from a number of annuities products without the knowledge of the owners.
It is the investors that suffers most when a financial representative engages in fraud, especially when that individual has chosen to purposely steal funds from clients. At Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LTD LLP, our securities fraud lawyers are here to help our clients get their money back. We help elderly seniors, married couples, young professionals, high net worth individuals, institutional clients, and other investors seeking tor recover their losses.
Even if the government or prosecutors are pursuing a case against a fraudster, it is important that you have an experienced investment fraud lawyer representing your interests and fighting for the recovery of your stolen funds. Over the years, we have helped thousands of investors get their money back. You should contact our securities law firm right away and ask for your free case assessment.
Reporting a securities fraud not only benefits you but it could prevent others from becoming victims as well. Unfortunately, until an unethical investment adviser or broker is exposed, their financial schemes can continue to cause harm. Even when the fraud is discovered, the financial representative may keep perpetuating a scam. Fraudsters have even known to move to another firm where they go on to bilk more clients. Contact us online or call (800) 259-9010.
Ex-Ameriprise adviser pleads guilty to stealing nearly $1 million, InvestmentNews, October 16, 2014
Former Ameriprise adviser from Plymouth admits to swindling $1 million from clients, Star Tribune, October 18, 2014
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