A former Illinois investment professional is facing charges he defrauded investors out of about $800,000 and diverted the funds for his personal use, reports FinancialAdvisor.
61-year-old Ronald T. Molo was charged last week in a criminal indictment announced by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and also in a parallel action brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
Officials said Molo was a registered broker-dealer in the Joliet branch office for a large financial services firm, which was listed in BrokerCheck as Edward Jones. He allegedly convinced three of his investors to transfer assets out of their accounts to another account, telling them it would be invested in income producing and tax-free municipal bonds and bond mutual funds. But the bonds did not exist and the money instead went into Molo’s personal bank account, according to the charges.
He is accused of using the money for various personal expenses, including his home mortgage, credit card bills, buying at least two vehicles, home remodeling, traveling and shopping. Molo allegedly used altered cashier’s checks to send the investors what were purported to be interest payments from the bonds.
Under the criminal indictment, Molo is charged with six counts of wire fraud, each of which could bring a sentence up to 20 years in federal prison if he is convicted. The SEC’s complaint charges Molo with violating Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. The complaint seeks injunctive relief, disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and civil penalties.
According to BrokerCheck, Molo was working for Edward Jones from 2018 until June 2021, when he was terminated.
The financial advisor misconduct attorneys at Lewitas Hyman are uniquely qualified to represent individual investors in investment-related claims against financial professionals and their firms. While in private practice, we have represented individual clients and firms in investment loss matters. If you have suffered investment losses as a result of misconduct by your financial professional or their firms, contact us at (312) 291-4600 or through our online contact form for a free consultation.