Did you lose money due to Rhonda Breard and Breard & Associates Wealth Management Accused of Stealing from Investors?
A Washington broker was charged with mail fraud after allegedly stealing from several investors. Rhonda L. Beard, 47, a former Kirkland, Washington investment advisor, allegedly defrauded dozens of clients out of millions of dollars, telling the investors that the money would be placed in a variety of financial and insurance products.
Our Law Firm is investigating potential claims against ING Financial Partners on behalf of customers of Rhonda Breard ("Breard") and Breard & Associates Wealth Management. Rhonda Breard, who was registered with ING Financial Partners (NYSE: ING) until February 10, 2010, is alleged to have vanished along with millions of dollars of her clients' money. Breard was a licensed broker in Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming. It has been reported that securities regulators and other agencies are investigating Breard's practices.
Beard accepted the money from at least 20 investors, but she used the money for her own expenses, and mailed fake statements to these customers.
Some of the victims had invested with Beard for over 20 years, as many had met her after hearing her speak in investment classes at locations such as community colleges.
In February 2010, an auditor with ING Financial Partners made an unannounced visit to Beard’s office, who had worked as an independent contractor for ING since 2004. After requesting to examine a locked file cabinet, which supposedly contained her personal tax information, the auditor found a number of client files that revealed Beard had not made investments with client money.
A preliminary investigation by the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions indicates that as many as 25 investors could be out more than $8 million.
“Investigators are still determining the extent of the fraud,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. “We are aggressively trying to learn information about her clients and assets, and we want any assets preserved for victims in this case. We will ask the court to impose a condition that Ms. Breard not dispose of any assets while the investigation into the full scope of the fraud continues."
A review of Breard's securities license reveals a history of several customer complaints as well as regulatory actions, dating back to the early 1990s. These include a censure, fine and suspension by the NASD, as well as several customer complaints regarding the sale of private placements, failure to follow instructions and unauthorized trading. These are all potential “red flags” under the law. Under NASD Rules, ING Financial Partners was obligated to properly supervise the practices and activities of Breard during the time that she was registered with the firm. Breard had been registered with ING Financial Partners since February of 2002. Accordingly, ING may be liable for failing to supervise Breard's activities and responsible for compensating investors who lost money investing with Breard.
If convicted of mail fraud, Beard may be facing up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
If you were defrauded by Beard you may have a claim against ING financial to recover your stolen funds. Call (888) 760-6552 to speak with an attorney today or visit www.stockmarketlawsuit.com. Soreide Law Group, PLLC