Saturday, December 19, 2009
Massachusetts Financial Advisor Charged In $4.3 Million Embezzlement Scheme
Stephen Clifford, 58, of Plymouth, Massachusetts, was charged with one count each of mail fraud, wire fraud and willful violation of the Investment Advisers Act, plus three counts of making a false tax return in connection with the alleged theft of some $4.3 million from about 20 of his financial advisory clients. Prosecutors allege that Clifford ran an embezzlement scheme from March 2003 through June 2008, taking in money for investments through his company, Clifford Financial Associates. Clifford allegedly used the investment money to pay personal expenses, including his mortgage, alimony, credit card bill, payments on his home equity line of credit and his daughter’s college tuition. According to reports, June 2008, when he was arrested on rape and kidnapping charges at a Connecticut casino, he told authorities that he had taken $3 million from his clients. He is currently being held in Barnstable County jail and faces 20 years for each count, plus restitution and a fine of up to $8.3 million.
Read the DOJ announcement here.