Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin has filed charges against investment adviser Thomas Riquier for allegedly defrauding investors of at least $1M in a real estate scam that has gone on for more than a quarter of a century. According to the administrative complaint, Riquier solicited funds from people, mostly older investors (some of them his firm’s clients), to buy property that was then to be sold at a profit. His employer, United Planners Financial Services of America, is charged with failure to supervise.
In its investment adviser fraud case, the regulator claims that investors’ money was used instead to buy property already belonging to Riquier. The property has yet to be improved or sold. It has not rendered any returns for investors. The state regulator notes that because the alleged scam has been going on for so long—26 years—a number of investors have passed away. The rest of them have yet to make money from the venture.
Riquier is also accused of soliciting over $830K in private loans from clients. Galvin said that this violates federal and state laws.
The alleged fraud is said to have taken place the entire time he worked for United Planners. During this period, Riquier is accused of soliciting not just his clients for investments but also their relatives. He also is accused of asking clients to invest in his own limited partnership. He allegedly did this by providing information that was false and without properly disclosing certain material information.
Riquier’s son-in-law was hired by United Planners to oversee him. The firm is accused of not properly watching their agent even though it purportedly knew that Riquier was “conducting business” with clients. The state regulator said that if only United Planers had conducted “the most basic of due diligence,” the full scope of the fraud would have been detected much sooner.
Now, Galvin’s office wants an administrative fine, censure, and cease and desist order against Riquier. It also would like to see his registration as a broker-dealer and investment adviser agent in the state of Massachusetts revoked. The regulator wants Riquier to pay restitution to investors for their losses.
At Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LTD LLP, it is our job to help investors that have been the victims of investment adviser fraud to recoup their losses. Contact our securities fraud law firm today. Our elder financial fraud lawyers work with older investors and their families throughout the US.
Read Galvin’s Complaint (PDF)
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