Former LPL Financial broker ordered to pay nearly $2 million in disgorgement and penalties after being accused of swindling clients out of nearly $1.7 million

Cleveland stockbroker fraud attorneyMr. Blake Richards misappropriated client money that constituted retirement savings, and even life insurance proceeds from deceased spouses, according to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

The majority of the siphoned funds were retirement savings or life insurance proceeds from deceased spouses, the SEC said in a press release
Richards worked hard to gain the confidence and trust of his investors, and at least two of the investors were senior citizens, and two others were widowed, according to the SEC’s original complaint. He stooped so low as to deliver pain medication during a snowstorm to a client’s husband who had been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer.

Richards Concocted Phony Funds in Order to Siphon Funds from Elderly Clients, According to an SEC Official

Beginning in 2008 Richards advised at least seven clients to invest in bogus funds such as “Blake Richards Investments” or “BMO Investments”. Investors believed that their money would be going to fixed-income investments, variable annuities or equities, according to a case filed in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Georgia. They couldn’t have imagined that he was using their cash for his own personal expenses. Mr. Richards even submitted fabricated account statements, the Securities and Exchange Commission stated. “None of the investments appeared on the client’s brokerage account statements, and Mr. Richards received no commission income from these investments,” the SEC said in a statement.

The SEC Initially Announced Charges against Richards Last Summer

The ruling against Richards, barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. in June 2013, was part of a summary judgment by Judge Willis B. Hunt Jr. Richards was given the sack on May 3, 2013, by LPL, which claims to have conducted an investigation of its own into the matter. Betsy Weinberger, an LPL representative, stated that another financial advisor had tipped off LPL regarding the alleged misconduct.

Firms Seeking to Distance Themselves from Richards

Lanier Wealth Management of Buford, Georgia, declined to comment on the case. LPL, which has over 13,500 brokers, was not named in the SEC’s complaint. Mr. Richards served as an LPL Financial broker from May 2009 until May 2013.

Investment Fraud Lawyers Investigating Blake Richards

The Peiffer Rosca securities attorneys often represent investors who lose money as a result of Ponzi schemes, investment fraud, or stockbroker misconduct. They are currently investigating the possibility of assisting victims with the recovery of their losses. They take most cases of this type on a contingency fee basis and advance the case costs, and only get paid for their fees and costs out of money they recover for their clients.

Investors who believe they lost money as a result of investment fraud or misconduct may contact the securities lawyers at Peiffer Rosca, Alan Rosca or Joe Peiffer, for a free, no-obligation evaluation of their recovery options, at 888-998-0520.

Broker: Blake Richards

Status: INVESTIGATED by Peiffer Rosca.

For brokercheck report and additional info click here!

Alan Rosca (1168 Posts)

Alan is a securities lawyer. He also teaches Securities Regulation at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. He focuses his legal practice on complex commercial and financial litigation and arbitration, particularly in the areas of securities and investment fraud. His office is in Cleveland, Ohio.


In our legal system, every person is innocent until and unless found guilty by a court of law or a tribunal. Whenever we reference “allegations” or charges that are “alleged,” such allegations or charges have not been proven, and are merely accusations, not findings of fault, as of the date of the blog. We do not have, nor do we undertake, a duty to continue to monitor or follow cases about which we report, and/or to publish subsequent blogs regarding various developments that may occur in such cases. Readers are encouraged to conduct their own research regarding any such cases and any developments that may or may not have occurred in such cases.