Blake B. Richards, 36 years old, was arrested in Georgia after stealing approximately $2 million from various clients. Richards was an investment advisor working for LPL Financials. LPL was not implicated in the scheme and fired Richards after discovering his actions.
Richards stole the funds from at least six different individuals to whom he was providing investor services. Since 2008, when clients wanted to roll over IRA accounts, Richards told them instead to write a check for the amount to “Blake Richards Investments” or “BMO Investments.” Richards then siphoned off the funds for his own personal use. He deceived the clients by giving them falsified reports on LPL letterhead. He also gave fictitious business cards falsely proclaiming himself as an Accredited Asset Management Specialist.
Most of the misappropriated funds were from retirement and/or life insurance proceeds from deceased spouses. Most of the individuals preyed upon by Richards were widows.
Situations such as this, unfortunately, occur far too often. How can you avoid being a victim of scam artists seeking to exploit your funds? Pay close attention to your funds and to the credentials of the individual you are meeting with. If you are ever unsure of whether their actions are correct, look into it! Take the time to think through the decision and to ask around and get advice from others. Also, we suggest using advisors that belong to reputable firms, that way if you are ever unsure at to the advisor’s suggestion, you can contact the firm and ensure whether that is their general practice. If these individuals had contacted LPL Financials, Richards’ actions would have been noticed early on and the clients’ funds would not have fallen into the wrong hands.
Be cautious and prudent about whom you trust with your assets. Make certain they are giving you sound advice and that you do your research to avoid scam artists! If you have questions or would like to schedule a free consultation, contact us today at 888.222.1328.
What the Attorneys of Morris Hall Can Do For You:
The attorneys at Morris Hall have 100’s of years of combined experience ensuring that families’ assets are protected from probate, unnecessary taxes, creditors, ex-spouses and Medicaid spend-down. The attorneys also help those in Arizona to apply for and receive Medicaid assistance and Veterans Benefits. Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Tucson, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead. Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.