A Connecticut advisor pleaded guilty to wire fraud after stealing more than $600,000 from an elderly investor, according to the Department of Justice.
Matthew Clason was a registered representative of Lincoln Financial Advisors before he was registered with LPL Financial until fall of last year, according to the description of the charges filed in Connecticut federal court.
Additionally, last year the SEC charged Clason in the scheme. The SEC’s civil action says that both LPL Financial and Integrated Wealth Concepts, where he registered as an IAR, had terminated his employment (while the action didn’t name the firms, he worked at both until last September, according to his BrokerCheck and IAPD profiles).
Clason, 39, began working with an unnamed 73-year-old investment client in about 2015; this client had at least five investment accounts with Clason and opened a joint bank account with him in January 2018. At this point, Clason concocted a scheme to defraud the elderly client.
The joint bank account had been funded with money from the client’s investment accounts, and the client believed the money would be used for her benefit. Starting at some point in 2018 through August 2020, Clason made more than 60 electronic transfers from the client’s investment accounts into the joint bank account totaling more than $668,000. In its civil action, the SEC argued that Clason “cultivated a personal relationship” with the unnamed victim the commission referred to as “Client 1,” driving her to appointments and running errands.
“They would sometimes meet as many as five time per week, and Client 1 considered Clason a good friend,” the action read.
Throughout that entire time, Clason was withdrawing cash from the joint bank account for his own personal use, even though the client had no idea about the withdrawals, according to the DOJ. In total, he made about 200 cash withdrawals from the account, adding up to more than $621,000. In April of last year, Clason transferred $52,191 out of the client’s investment account into the joint account. Every few days in late April and early May, Clason would make smaller withdrawals from the joint account, ranging from $3,800 to $10,000. On two occasions last year, he made transfers ranging from $5,000 to $8,000 to pay for his Bank of America credit card.
Clason faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, and his sentencing hearing is scheduled for Aug. 20.