Miguel Ortiz, a New York financial advisor, was barred from the securities industry by FINRA after allegations of fraud. FINRA claims that Ortiz falsified account statements and concealed the account value of a joint account held by his one of his customers. The victims believe that they lost $162,843 due to Ortiz's misrepresentations. Ortiz was also reprimanded for failing to disclose a $4.9 million civil judgment against him on his Form U-4. Ortiz has appealed FINRA's findings.
Joseph Zada, a former financial advisor, was convicted of fifteen counts of fraud after allegedly swindling millions from twenty-eight investors. One of Zada's most notable clients was former NHL Red Wing player, Sergei Fedorov. Over an 11 year period, Zada allegedly embezzled $43 million from Fedorov. In 2009, Fedorov filed suit against Zada and ended up with a $60 million award. The award was never paid back to Fedorov. Sentencing for Zada will take place on November 20, 2015 and he faces a maximum 300 year prison sentence.
Jeffrey C. McClure, a former Wells Fargo advisor, has been barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) after being charged with stealing almost $89,000 from an elderly client. McClure allegedly deposited money into his personal account by using blank, unsigned checks provided by the client under the guise that McClure would use the checks to pay the client's bills. Wells Fargo repaid the stolen monies to the client.
Earlier this month, U.S. District Court Judge Gary Feinerman sentenced Oscar Overbey, Jr., to three and a half years in a federal prison. The charges against Overbey, a former Ameriprise advisor, stemmed from an alleged Ponzi scheme he created to pay off gambling debts and other personal expenses. Investigators believe that from 1996 through 2007, Overbey used his status as a financial advisor to embezzle about $4 million of his clients' money. This resulted in Overbey being barred from the financial industry in 2007 after he was terminated from Ameriprise in 2006. Ameriprise refunded all the clients who had lost money due to Overbey's actions. Overbey was also ordered to pay $3 million in restitution, which will reimburse Ameriprise. During the trial Overbey admitted that he met a lot of clients through his gambling and that, "The lines between my brokerage business and my gambling were often blurred." Once he completes his sentence, Overbey will then be placed on a three-year supervised probation, in which he will be prohibited from entering any casinos or participating in any gambling.
Jo Ellen Fisher, a former Peoples Bancorp employee and financial advisor for Raymond James, has officially been barred from the securities industry. Fisher was accused of embezzling almost $1 million from an elderly client. Fisher allegedly transferred $924,750 from a trust of the 95 year old investor to an account under her daughter's name. Fisher was then able to use that money on her own personal expenses, including her mortgage, cars, and jewelry. In her own defense, Fisher claimed that the client was her daughter's godfather and he wanted her daughter to have the money when she turned 21. FINRA claims that Ms. Fisher's defense is not supported by legitimate documents. Raymond James is now seeking $800,000 from Fisher. They have asked a federal judge to freeze all assets and accounts held by Fisher and to give them claim on all her assets.