Former Frederick attorney, Richard A. Brennan, is now facing jail time after pleading guilty to mail fraud and tax charges. Brennan first opened his practice in 2006 with the main focus of providing clients with debt-settlement services. Brennan allegedly misappropriated clients' funds intended to pay off their debts, and used the money for his own needs. Over a three year period this caused his clients to lose about $2.9 million. In 2007, the Maryland Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division investigated him for these allegations. The Attorney General and Brennan came to a settlement in which he would pay $200,000 in fines and costs and repay clients harmed by his scheme. Unfortunately, Brennan never followed the terms of the settlement and never returned any of the money to his clients.
Former financial advisor, Travis Wetzel, was sentenced to 3 ½ years in prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $1.2 million in restitution to a former client. Wetzel was first charged in May of last year with 24 counts of wire fraud and money laundering after he allegedly transferred money from a client's account into his own, without the knowledge or permission of the client. Over a 26 month span, Wetzel used his position as the branch manager at Research Financial Strategies to embezzle $1,282,224 from his client's annuity account.
Travis Wetzel, an advisor from Frederick, Maryland was indicted on wire fraud charges last month. Wetzel was the branch operations manager at Research Financial Strategy, an advisory firm located in Rockville, Maryland. Wetzel allegedly embezzled $1,282,224 from a clients of the firm. On May 9, 2014, FINRA permanently barred Wetzel from the securities industry