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HomeLife InsuranceEx-LPL Advisor Faces Witness Tampering, Wire Fraud, ID Theft Fees

Ex-LPL Advisor Faces Witness Tampering, Wire Fraud, ID Theft Fees


LPL terminated Couture on June 17, 2020, after he allegedly altered figuring out info, account balances and distributions in a buyer account assertion, “maintained comingled buyer funds” and used an unapproved electronic mail deal with, in accordance with certainly one of eight disclosures on his report, most of which have been consumer complaints alleging misappropriation of their funds.

With out admitting or denying FINRA’s findings, Couture signed a FINRA letter of acceptance, waiver and consent on Oct. 16, 2020, wherein he agreed to be barred from associating with any FINRA member in any capability. FINRA signed the letter on Oct. 21, 2020.

LPL didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon Friday about its former dealer’s second responsible plea and witness tampering.

Imaginary Mutual Funds

In its preliminary motion, the Justice Division stated Couture additionally began a agency known as Legacy Monetary Group in New Hampshire in or about September 2009 and operated a third-party administrator of retirement plans that managed the retirement plan of a regulation agency based mostly in Worcester.

From about 2009 to 2020, Couture misappropriated about $2.8 million from his shoppers by transferring funds out of his shoppers’ accounts, investing in fictitious mutual funds after which promoting different shoppers’ holdings to pay funding returns, in accordance with the costs filed in opposition to him.

In June 2016, Couture liquidated one consumer’s variable annuities to fund withdrawals by one other consumer, in accordance with the Justice Division. Equally, in December 2019 and January 2020, Couture paid a consumer he beforehand defrauded by promoting different shoppers’ mutual funds.

As a part of the scheme, Couture solid shoppers’ signatures on paperwork, or brought on shoppers to signal paperwork by falsely representing that the proceeds of transactions can be used for his or her profit, the Justice Division stated. Couture additionally stole from shoppers utilizing their very own profit-sharing plans and performed transactions of their names to disguise his fraudulent transactions.

SEC: Couture ‘Lulled’ Shoppers

In a parallel motion that the Securities and Trade Fee filed in opposition to Couture on the identical date because the preliminary Justice Division motion, in the identical court docket, the SEC additionally alleged he defrauded his advisory shoppers.

From about 2009 to December 2019, Couture, whereas working his funding advisory and brokerage enterprise, fraudulently satisfied his advisory shoppers to promote parts of their securities holdings to fund massive cash transfers to an entity that, unknown to his shoppers, he owned and managed, the SEC charged in its grievance.

Based on the SEC grievance, for every transaction, Couture obtained consumer authorization by falsely claiming the proceeds can be reinvested for his shoppers’ monetary profit. In actuality, nevertheless, his alleged goal in arranging the transactions was to divert the sale proceeds for his personal profit, the SEC alleged.

To additional his scheme, Couture “lulled shoppers into believing that their sale proceeds had been reinvested by offering them with fabricated account statements,” the SEC stated in saying its grievance.

When shoppers requested withdrawals, Couture allegedly took property from his different shoppers to cowl the withdrawals, in accordance with the SEC grievance. To cover that misappropriation, he transferred consumer cash by way of an online of third-party accounts to cowl up the truth that he was misappropriating cash from one consumer to interchange funds he had beforehand stolen from one other, the SEC alleged.

By means of his actions, Couture violated the antifraud provisions of Part 10(b) of the Securities Trade Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 and Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Funding Advisers Act of 1940, the SEC alleged.

(Picture: Shutterstock) 

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