How Bad Can a Broker Be?


ROANOKE, Va. (CN) - A Virginia stock broker stole $730,000 from elderly clients, some of them blind, to pay for her "comfortable lifestyle including vacations, three vehicles, clothing and a country club membership," the SEC said Thursday in a settled complaint.
     Federal prosecutors filed parallel criminal charges against Donna Jessee Tucker, the SEC said in a statement.
     "From at least January 2008 through April 2013, Tucker misappropriated $730,289 from elderly customers of the Brokerage Firm by engaging in an elaborate fraudulent scheme," the SEC said in its federal lawsuit. "Among other things, Tucker engaged in unauthorized trading and other financial transactions, made misrepresentations to such customers about their investment accounts, and forged brokerage, banking and other documents.
     "Tucker concealed her fraud through oral and written misstatements to her elderly customers, some of whom were legally blind, including the fabrication of false account statements. Tucker also ensured that these customers only received their monthly account statements electronically, knowing that they were unable and/or unwilling to access such statements.
     "Tucker used the misappropriated funds for her personal benefit, paying her day-to-day expenses and funding a comfortable lifestyle including vacations, three vehicles, clothing and a country club membership."
     Tucker, 58, of an unidentified brokerage firm, lives in Roanoke.
     Among the allegations in the lawsuit are that "Between February 2009 and April 2013, Tucker misappropriated approximately $346,789 from Customer A, a blind couple, residing in Virginia, who had two IRA and two individual brokerage accounts at the Brokerage Firm."
     She did this by forging checks, the SEC said in the complaint.
     The SEC seeks disgorgement, penalties and an injunction.