The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority' barred broker Charles Duane Lewis, owner of Fletcher Hills Tax Service (El Cajon, California) and formerly associated with H.D. Vest Investment Services (La Mesa, CA), as part of a settlement stemming from criminal allegations and subsequent convictions that Lewis perpetrated a half-million dollar power of attorney and misappropriation scheme in violation of various provisions of the California Penal Code.
Based on the 2010 matter of The People of the State of California v. Charles Duane Lewis, Court No. SCE303319, in which Lewis was charged with 58 felony counts, including theft from an elder over $950, fraudulent appropriation by clerk, agent or employee, use of personal identifying information of another, and 55 counts of forgery of checks, money order, traveler's check, etc. The proceedings played out in the El Cajon Superior Court of San Diego County. Lewis pleaded guilty in November, 2010 and was convicted of theft from an elder and fraudulent appropriation of funds.
Through its separate investigation, FINRA fond that between 2007 and 2010, Lewis obtained a power of attorney from one of his elderly customers and used this power of attorney without his client's knowledge or consent to write 61 checks in his customer's name, payable to Fletcher Hills or to Lewis himself. The total value of these checks, plus four more written to a friend of Lewis, was $550,495.74.
FINRA brought a disciplinary action against Lewis. Pursuant to the terms of the settlement, Lewis accepted his industry banishment without admitting to or denying the allegations made by FINRA.
The Order Accepting Settlement may be found at http://disciplinaryactions.finra.org/viewdocument.aspx?DocNB=32369. Strangely, the date of the order reads September 12, 2013.
If you invested with Lewis, Fletcher Hills or another broker or firm who has abused power of attorney or engaged in other misconduct for his or her own personal financial gain, please call The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for an investigation and consultation.