Former Merrill Lynch FA Charged Over Alleged $4.4 Million Fraud
A fired Merrill Lynch investment advisor is facing charges in federal courtover his alleged role in a decade-long $4.4 million fraud scheme, the Louisville Courier Journal writes.
Christopher Hibbard, who was fired by the wirehouse at the start of 2018, is facing one count of investment advisor fraud, for which he could face up to five years in prison, and nine counts of wire fraud, which carry a maximum sentence of 20 years and $250,000 in fines, according to the paper.
From 2007 through December 2017, Hibbard allegedly made unauthorized fund transfers from client accounts to his personal credit card, according to the indictment filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky cited by the Courier Journal.
The former advisor then tried to hide his scheme"by providing false and misleading information"to the clients, the paper writes, citing the indictment. The scheme yielded Hibbard around $4.4 million in total, according to the Courier Journal.
Hibbard began his financial services career in 1999 at A.G. Edwards and also spent five years at Morgan Keegan & Co. before joining Merrill Lynch in 2010, according to his BrokerCheck profile.
The wirehouse discharged Hibbard in January 2018 over “conduct including unauthorized transactions and theft," and Finra barred Hibbard in February over failure to provide requested information, according to BrokerCheck.
Following his discharge from Merrill Lynch, several clients accused the former advisor of alleged theft.
Now, Hibbard — who had no prior disclosure records before getting fired from Merrill Lynch — has nine pending customer disputes, according to BrokerCheck.