Once a popular broker/dealer with ING Financial, Rhonda Breard is now at the center of a fraud investigation by the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions and the Washington State Attorney for allegedly bilking clients out of millions of dollars. In February, Breard was fired from ING, and the companies she owns and manages – Breard Associates and Wealth Management in Kirkland – have apparently been shut down.
That same month, Breard was stripped of her license to act as a broker in nine states: Washington, Oregon, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, North Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming. Her firm's Web site now says “currently under construction,” and Breard's Facebook page also has been mysteriously removed.
Breard's problems are tied to charges that she swindled ING clients by allegedly making unauthorized transactions in their accounts and then altering their financial statements.
On Feb. 10, news reports began to circulate that Breard had attempted suicide.
Complaints about Breard actually began long before February 2010. In 1991, Breard resigned from Smith Barney because of allegations of unauthorized trading in clients' accounts. In 1992, she faced similar claims and eventually was fined $15,000. In 1993, while employed at Prudential Securities, Breard settled an investor complaint for $74,493.
Clients of Breard's are calling her latest actions nothing short of a mini-Madoff. According to state authorities, Breard may have scammed more than $7 million from her clients, using the majority of the money to pay for a lavish lifestyle. Breard lives in a waterfront home on Lake Washington, which sold for more than $2.5 million, according to a 2006 deed on the property.
King County tax records show that Breard owns another home purchased by her trust in 2007, which is worth approximately $5 million. In addition, Breard has at least eight cars and an assortment of luxury items, including motor homes, snowmobiles and jet skis.
In 2008, 425 Magazine included Breard among its “top lady leaders” for the year. When asked what drove her ambitions, Breard replied: “Shopping at Nordstrom of course!…”
If you are a current or former investor with Rhonda Breard and/or Breard & Associates and Wealth Management, we encourage you to contact Maddox Hargett & Caruso P.C. to discuss your personal circumstances and the possibility for recovery.