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Former Illinois financial advisor ordered to pay over $815K for defrauding clients

On Behalf of | Oct 26, 2022 | Financial Advisor Misconduct

The Securities and Exchange Commission obtained a final judgment against a former Illinois financial advisor who was charged with defrauding his clients, Financial Advisor reports.

Under the judgment entered in federal court, 61-year-old Ronald Molo of Shorewood, Illinois was ordered to pay $815,104 in disgorgement and prejudgment interest.

In November 2021, prosecutors filed criminal charges and the SEC filed a parallel action against Molo, who had spent 20 years working for Edward Jones. According to the SEC’s complaint, Molo stole about $800,000 from two investment advisory clients and a brokerage customer between January 2019 and November 2020. Molo allegedly convinced the investors to transfer money from their advisory and brokerage accounts to another bank account, purportedly for investments in tax-free bonds. In reality the bonds did not exist and the money was transferred to Molo’s account, the complaint said. He allegedly used the funds to pay for personal expenses, including cars, mortgage payments, home remodeling and construction costs, lottery tickets, travel and shopping expenses, and cash payments to family members. The SEC said Molo tried to conceal his fraud by sending the investors purported interest payments from the bogus bonds, using altered cashier’s checks drawn from funds in his personal bank account.

Molo was charged by the SEC 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.

Along with the financial penalties, Molo was also permanently enjoined from participating in the issuance, purchase, offer, or sale of any security. He was barred by FINRA in September 2021 for failing to respond to requests for information. In the criminal case against him, Molo was charged with six counts of wire fraud.

He was fired by Edward Jones in June 2021, and the investors he defrauded were fully reimbursed by the company for the money that was stolen.

The attorneys at Lewitas Hyman are uniquely qualified to represent individual investors in investment-related claims against financial professionals and their firms. We understand how financial professionals and their firms are supposed to operate through decades of experience working for the SEC and firms like Morgan Stanley and UBS Financial Services. If you have suffered investment losses as a result of misconduct by your financial professional or their firms, contact Lewitas Hyman at (888) 655-6002 or through our online contact form for a free consultation.