Investment fraud lawyers are currently investigating claims on behalf of Ameriprise Financial and LPL Financial customers. Recently, the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission charged Blake B. Richards, a former LPL and Ameriprise Advisor Services advisor, with fraud. Allegedly, Richards misappropriated funds from a minimum of six individuals, amounting to around $2 million.
According to the SEC, at least two of Richards’ victims are elderly and most of the allegedly misappropriated funds were life insurance proceeds and/or retirement savings.
“Since at least 2008, on occasions when investors informed Richards that they had funds available to invest (such as from an IRA rollover or proceeds from a life insurance policy), Richards instructed the investors to write out checks to an entity called ‘Blake Richards Investments,’ a d/b/a entity, or another d/b/a used by Richards, ‘BMO Investments,'” the SEC’s complaint states. “Richards represented to the investors that he would invest their funds through his investment vehicle in life insurance, fixed income assets, variable annuities, or household-name stocks. Richards misappropriated much of the funds.”
Sadly, securities arbitration lawyers say it is not uncommon for brokers and advisors to take advantage of elderly investors. Furthermore, issues of suitability often arise because retired investors or investors who are preparing for retirement usually do not have the same investment objectives and risk tolerances as investors who will have a steady income for many years.
Richards was registered from February 2007 to May 2009 with Ameriprise Advisor Services, which is now part of Ameriprise Financial. From May 2009 until May 2013, Richards was registered with LPL Financial. According to investment fraud lawyers, both of these firms were under an obligation to adequately supervise Richards while he was registered with them and, therefore, may be held liable for customer losses that could have been prevented with adequate supervision.
If you suffered significant losses as a result of your dealings with Blake B. Richards, you may be able to recover your losses through securities arbitration. To find out more about your legal rights and options, contact a securities arbitration lawyer at The Law Office of Christopher J. Gray at (866) 966-9598 for a no-cost, confidential consultation.