After allegedly bilking clients of almost $1.7 million, Blake B. Richards, a former LPL broker, was ordered to pay $2 million by Judge Willis B. Hunt, Jr. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) first announced the charges against Richards in the summer of 2012. The SEC believes that Richards began advising at least seven clients to invest into funds and entities that he controlled. The investors were told that their funds would be reinvested into conservative investments, but in reality it was going to Richards to pay his own personal expenses. Richards allegedly kept up scam by creating fake statements for each of the clients. LPL has commented that they began an investigation and terminated him after another advisor had tipped the company off. In June 2013, shortly after he was terminated, Richards was also barred from the securities industry by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
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