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Category Archives: ING

Former ING Broker Rhonda Breard Sentenced

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.

FINRA Bars Rhonda Breard From Securities Industry

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.

Rhonda Breard To Face The Music In Alleged Ponzi Scam

To borrow from Bob Dylan, ‘the times they are-a changin’ for Kirkland securities broker Rhonda Breard. Breard, a former broker for ING Financial Partners, faces 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine for the single count of mail fraud that federal prosecutors charged her with last week.

State regulators estimate that Breard may have scammed nearly $8 million from investors in a Ponzi scheme that allegedly had been going on since at least 2007.

According to prosecutors, instead of placing investors’ money in insurance and financial investments, Breard used the funds for her own profit and, in turn, allegedly gave phony statements to clients.

On March 10, in what is likely to be a slew of future lawsuits against Breard, James and Shelley Heath sued the disgraced broker, alleging they lost their life savings to her scam. The Heaths also sued one of Breard’s associates, Colleen Brown, and Breard’s former employer, ING Financial Partners.

The lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle, claims ING licensed Breard and Brown and then failed to properly supervise them. The suit also alleges that ING has a history of failing to supervise brokers, paying “huge fines and/or state-ordered restitution to clients” over the years.

Rhonda Breard Update

KING 5 News is reporting that ING Financial Partners is quietly looking for offers to settle with clients who were allegedly bilked out of some $8 million by former ING broker Rhonda Breard.

Breard is facing fraud charges by the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions and the Washington State Attorney. In February, Breard, who owns Breard Associates and Wealth Management in Kirkland, was fired from ING. She is scheduled to appear in federal court to face a preliminary hearing sometime next week.

Meanwhile, civil actions are just beginning for Breard. In one lawsuit, allegations also are being levied against ING Financial Partners for failing to properly supervise Breard.

According to a KING 5 News story, a second person, Colleen Brown, is cited for her alleged participation in Breard’s scheme. Brown worked in Breard’s office and is alleged to be the individual who sent out false monthly statements to Breard’s clients.

Former ING Broker Rhonda Breard Faces Fraud Charges

Rhonda Breard’s conscience may have finally caught up with her. The former ING investment broker has been under investigation for fraud on allegations that she bilked clients out of millions of dollars. On March 2, the disgraced investment advisor and TV personality reportedly tried to take her life.

Breard’s alleged actions came to the attention of regulators in February 2010 after she was fired by ING Financial Partners for reportedly “altering customer statements.” On March 10, federal prosecutors officially charged Breard, 47, with mail fraud. According to the criminal complaint, Breard accepted millions of dollars from investors, telling them that their money would be placed in a variety of financial and insurance products.

Instead, investigators say she used the money for her own expenses and mailed phony statements to clients.

A preliminary investigation by the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) indicates that investors could be out more than $8 million. According to the DFI, Breard’s ability to act as a broker was terminated in nine states, including Washington and Oregon, on Feb. 10.

Breard, who also goes by the names Dean Tucker and Rhonda Lee Dean, is the owner of Kirkland-based Breard Associates and Wealth Management.

Breard isn’t the only one facing scrutiny. As her supervisor, ING also may also be held liable for investors’ financial losses because of its alleged supervisory failures.

Some of the investors affected by Breard’s alleged scheme include fifth-grade teacher Sandee Gren, who had plans to retire in the near future. Now, with half of her retirement account, roughly $300,000, gone, those plans are in peril.

“I stood in that woman’s office pouring my heart out about how I’ve been a single parent, how I’d just lost my daughter and I needed to know what to do with my stocks,” says Gren.

Records with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) show a long and lengthy list of complaints and enforcement actions against Breard during the course of her investment career.

In 1991, Breard was allowed to resign from Smith Barney because of unauthorized trading of clients’ accounts. In 1992, she faced similar allegations and was fined $15,000. In 1993, while employed at Prudential Securities, Breard settled a complaint against her for $74,493.

The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions, the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner, and the FBI are continuing their investigation of Breard.

Maddox Hargett & Caruso P.C. is launching its own investigation into investors’ allegations against Rhonda Breard. If you suffered investment losses through Breard, contact us with your story. You may have a claim for recovery.

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