It’s official – former ING Financial broker Rhonda Breard has been permanently barred from the securities industry by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The Washington State investment advisor is accused of stealing $8 million from clients.
Breard neither admits nor denies the charges, but “consented to the entry of FINRA’s findings,” according to a statement by FINRA.
Breard currently is facing federal charges, as well as civil lawsuits. If convicted on the federal charges, Breard faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million.
Breard’s scheme came to light during a surprise visit from an ING auditor to her offices at Breard & Associates Wealth Management. As reported March 11 by Investment News, the auditor uncovered a locked file cabinet in the office. Contents from the cabinet purportedly revealed that Breard had misappropriated money from her clients.
Meanwhile, some of Breard’s clients have invested with Breard for more than 20 years. A few years ago, they reported that Breard began asking them to liquidate their accounts and write her checks for Breard to invest in new accounts.
Maddox Hargett & Caruso P.C. is investigating investors’ allegations against Rhonda Breard and ING Financial. If you suffered investment losses through Breard, contact us with your story. You may have a claim for recovery.