A Massachusetts investment advisor who pleaded guilty to defrauding his clients and stealing from them has been sentenced to prison, according to InsuranceNewsNet.
A federal judge sentenced 42-year-old James Kenneth Couture of Sutton to 100 months behind bars and three years of supervised release.
As a registered investment advisor, Couture invested his clients’ funds in securities and various insurance products, including annuities, and helped them with profit-sharing plans and other retirement products.
Federal prosecutors said that from 2009 to 2020, Couture misappropriated about $2.8 million from his clients by transferring funds out of their accounts, investing the money in fictitious mutual funds and then selling other clients’ holdings to pay investment returns. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Couture forged clients’ signatures on documents or caused them to sign documents by falsely telling them the proceeds of transactions would be used for their benefit. He also was accused of stealing from the clients’ profit-sharing plans and conducting transactions in their names to hide his own fraudulent transactions.
After being charged initially with the scheme, Couture was then charged with witness tampering for creating fake documents purporting to be for his clients’ accounts and providing false information to at least one victim.
In September 2022, Couture pleaded guilty to four counts of wire fraud, four counts of aggravated identity theft, one count of investment advisor fraud and one count of witness tampering. Along with the prison term, he was also ordered to pay $1,924,585 in restitution and $2,874,585 in forfeiture.
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. 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 Lewitas Hyman at (888) 655-6002 or through our online contact form for a free consultation.