Former ING Financial broker Rhonda Breard is trading her swanky professional suits for prison garb. After pilfering clients out of $12 million, a federal judge has sentenced Breard to six years and eight months in prison.
The former chief executive officer of Breard and Associates Wealth Management in Kirkland was initially charged on March 10 to one count of mail fraud in connection to an investment scheme that defrauded clients out of millions. Breard later admitted she concealed the scheme by giving her clients fake account statements that showed investments in a variety of phony financial and insurance products.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) barred Breard from the securities industry in March.
After stealing from her clients, Breard allegedly used the money to purchase extravagant homes, jewelry and more than two dozen vehicles. In February, Breard tried to commit suicide, presumably because authorities were onto her fraud following a surprise audit by ING.
During Breard’s sentencing, several of the victims she defrauded were present. One of the victims was Shelly Heath, who had invested with Breard for 25 years. Gone from her account were her retirement savings and money for her children’s college education fund.
Another of Breard’s victims was an autistic man who lost his entire savings while working as a janitor and other small jobs.
As for Breard, she blamed her actions on greed and the need to appear wealthy.