Joliet, Illinois Financial Advisor Faces Criminal Charges For Wire Fraud
Ronald Terrence Molo, a former Edward Jones broker, is accused of misappropriating customers’ funds and costing at least three older clients $778,000 in investment losses. He was suspended by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) beginning October 25, 2021, after he failed to respond to the self-regulatory organization’s request for more information.
On November 23, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed civil charges against Molo, and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois filed criminal charges against him for wire fraud.
Edward Jones fired Molo in June 2021 when he moved clients’ monies to an outside account believed to be connected to him after he had solicited a purported investment. He was an Illinois-based registered representative with the broker-dealer during his entire 20 years in the industry.
Ex-Edward Jones Broker Facing Unauthorized Trading Claims Among Others
Here are some of the disclosures on Ronald Molo’s BrokerCheck record:
- June 2021: A more than $236K settlement was reached in this customer dispute. Molo’s former client accused him of wiring their money to an account that was in the name of the then broker’s wife and making the false claim that this was for investing purposes.
- June 2021: Making similar allegations against Molo, this customer consented to a $329,644.85 settlement.
- June 2021: This investor claim, which makes similar contentions, was concluded with a more than $282K settlement.
- November 2019: This claimant accused Molo of making unauthorized trades. He also contends that the ex-Edward Jones broker did not let him know that paying his Brighthouse VUL policy early could cause it to become converted to a Modified Endowment Contract. The customer dispute was settled for $16K.
Broker Ronald Molo Could Face Decades in Prison
Molo has been charged with six counts of wire fraud. Each criminal count comes with 20 years maximum in prison.
The indictment alleges that from 2018 to earlier in 2021, the Joliet financial advisor misrepresented to customers that the investments he was making on their behalf would be tax-free, generate income, and render interest payments.
Instead, rather than invest his customers’ money in certain bonds, Molo is accused of purposely misappropriating their funds to pay for his own personal spending, including multiple vehicles, construction expenses, travel, and other bills.
SEC Alleges Attempted Cover-Up of Alleged Misappropriation
The SEC is demanding a jury trial in its securities case against Molo. The Commission is accusing him of trying to conceal the fraud by sending his clients $22K in what he claims were supposed interest payments for these non-existent bonds when, in fact, the money had come from the investors.
Elder Financial Abuse and Investor Fraud
Edward Jones should have known about Molo’s allegedly fraudulent actions long before it decided to fire him. Brokerage firms have a duty to properly supervise their financial advisors and the latter’s activities in customers’ accounts. Failure to supervise often enables broker misconduct and negligence, which can lead to investor losses.
Unfortunately, older investors are often the victims of misappropriation and other misconduct by brokers and investment advisors. It is important that financial firms make sure that they have the systems and procedures in place to protect retirees and other seniors from the wrongful actions of their registered representatives.
Seasoned Chicago Broker Misconduct Attorneys
Our Chicago securities lawyers represent investors wishing to pursue damages against brokers and their financial firms. If you suffered investment losses while working with ex-Edward Jones broker Ronald Molo or another registered representative at the firm, contact Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK) Law Firm today.