CHICAGO (CN) – An investment adviser stole at least $1.8 million from 17 clients and funneled some of it into his church, two restaurants and a film distribution company, the SEC claims in Federal Court. Among the victims of Steven W. Salutric’s Ponzi scheme is a “96-year old who resides in a nursing home and suffers from dementia, has no current memory and cannot retain information for more than 5 minutes” from whom he stole $400,000, the SEC says.
The SEC says that beginning in 2007, Salutric, “acting as an investment adviser, misappropriated at least $1.8 million – and potentially over $2 million – from at least 17 of his clients to support businesses and entities linked to him and as part of a Ponzi scheme, to make payments to other clients.”
Salutric managed more than $16 million though his business, Results One, which he founded in 2000, the SEC says, “and it is thus possible that the amount of misappropriated funds and number of defrauded clients may even be greater.”
Salutric defrauded his clients by “making unauthorized withdrawals from his clients accounts at [non-party] Charles Schwab & Co.” which was “the custodian of client assets for Results One,” according to the complaint.
Salutric “had discretionary authority to trade in the Schwab accounts without prior approval from the clients,” the SEC say, but he is accused of forging signatures on withdrawal forms to bypass Schwab’s rules that “forbid disbursements of funds to third parties unless with a written request.”
The SEC says Salutric sent “$259,000 to two local restaurants, $610,000 to a film distribution company and $321,000 to his church.”
Salutric, 51, of Carol Stream, Ill., “was an executive producer of a 2005 a movie titled ‘Madison,'” according to the complaint.
The SEC seeks disgorgement, penalties and an injunction.