In an interesting case of he said, she said, one advisor may have gone to great lengths to steal an elderly client’s money.
A former Ohio advisor was indicted this week by a federal grand jury on a total of 16 criminal charges ranging from wire fraud to money laundering. Almost half the charges come with maximum 20-year sentences.
Mark Preston French, a former broker with Securities America, is alleged to have diverted $1.3 million of a client’s money into gold and silver bullion, which the advisor stored in his basement.
The entire ordeal began in June 2009 when French allegedly persuaded the client in question to allow him to begin investing in gold and silver bullion. They opened a joint account at a local bank to carry out the plan. Instead, the broker started using the client’s money to buy the bullion for himself.
The FBI removed the gold in April 2013. Then things got interesting.
French turned around and sued the U.S. government in order to get his gold back maintaining that the situation was simply a civil disagreement between the two parties and not a criminal matter.
Furthermore, the broker initially maintained that the client made more than a 10 per cent profit from his bullion investment; the civil disagreement was over how big the profit could or should have been.
Shortly after launching the complaint against the federal government the former advisor dropped his case.
Scheduled to appear for arraignment on June 16, the prosecutor on the case assures voters that the gold and silver is safely in custody.