Broker Patricia S. Miller is facing federal wire fraud charges after several of her clients reported large sums of money disappearing while under her care.
In May, Investors Capital Corp. terminated Miller's employment and reported her to the U.S. Attorney's Office and SEC after an internal review turned out allegations of misappropriation of funds, fraudulent investment activity, borrowing money from clients and creating false documents.
For instance, one currently pending customer dispute alleges that Miller misappropriated $80,000 in customer funds intended for an investment.
Two days later, the FBI showed up at Miller's office to further investigate the criminal claims of fraud.
Miller failed to appear in court Monday, June 10 after being arrested and charged with wire fraud over the weekend. The FBI reported that when agents attempted to arrest Miller, she was unconscious in an apparent suicide attempt. The Bureau stated they had found a letter next to Miller's desk saying that she had taken money from clients and deceived her husband and sons.
One such client, Marcy Salandra, allegedly received documents from Miller stating that her investments were worth $681,944.
After the FBI began investigating Miller, however, Salandra contacted Investors Capital. The firm told her the account did not exist and that a different account in Salandra's name was worth just $254.
According to Salandra, her entire life savings dropped from $681,944 to just $254, leaving grave questions about the future: "I fear that I have no retirement money and it's going to kill me because I don't have any other money to live on when I retire. I have nothing."
Further review of Salandra's documents regarding the $681,944 account showed that while the statement contained an Investor Capital logo, it was held in the name of KS Investment Partners at a different PO box address, a "red flag" according to fraud expert Richard Sabo.
Sabo was unable to find any financial or corporate record of "KS Investments" or "KS Investment Partners."
In cases of renegade brokers, the brokerage firm may be unwilling to voluntarily make right its broker's fraud. In those situations, the only option is to pursue an arbitration claim or lawsuit in order to be made whole. Brokerage firms, regardless of their size, structure, or business model have an obligation to reasonably supervise their registered brokers. A defrauded client may be able to seek remedies against the broker-dealer for failing to supervise a renegade broker. Recent changes in the law, particularly the various court cases defining who is a "customer" of a brokerage firm have made pursuing such claims in FINRA arbitration more complex.
If you have invested with Patricia S. Miller or with any broker or financial advisor whose suspected misappropriation, borrowing or conversion of funds, fraudulent investment activities or fabrication of fake account statements has proven harmful to your investments or interests, please call The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for investigation and consultation.
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