A former Jackson, Mich.-based registered investment advisor has pleaded no contest to a racketeering charge, according to the Michigan Attorney General’s office. The 70-year-old, Robert Morley Jr., was charged with stealing $700,000 from an elderly couple between 2007 and 2014, a crime which wasn’t discovered until the trustee and heirs of the couple attempted to secure the money after the couple died in 2012. The advisor’s license was revoked by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).
In accordance with the plea, Morley paid $120,000 toward restitution and must pay the remaining $580,000 through a restitution order, according to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. “I am incredibly grateful for the partnership between our office and LARA, which continues to ensure that those who exploit our residents are held accountable,” she said in a statement. “Michigan residents trust investment advisors to help them save for the future, not take everything they have for personal enrichment.”
“While Mr. Morley’s victims may be deceased, he still has a responsibility to repay the money he stole,” she added.
Morley first met the unnamed husband and wife, who had approximately $6 million in investable assets, in the late 1990s, according to a report by MLive. The former advisor reportedly met with the couple every 10 days while they were in their late 80s, “developed a close relationship with them and considered them to be like an aunt and uncle.” Former Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, who was in office when the investigation began, said Morley used the money to pay off personal debts, according to the report.
Morley was arrested in March 2018 at the Detroit Metro Airport and faces up to 20 years in prison. He is scheduled for sentencing on Nov. 21 and will remain in the Jackson County jail until sentenced.