The SEC charged an ex-UBS broker with falsifying statements and stealing $730,000 from elderly clients, some of whom were legally blind.
Authorities said the Roanoke, Va.-based broker, Donna Jessee Tucker, allegedly defrauded nine clients by either stealing their money or falsifying their financial documents from 2008 to 2013. She was alleged to have used the money to pay for vacations, a country club membership, three vehicles, clothes and other personal expenses.
Tucker, 58, allegedly hid her actions by sending clients monthly account statements electronically, which she didn't believe they would read because of the format, authorities said.
The SEC also alleged that Tucker engaged in unauthorized trading and other financial transactions, and that she misrepresented her actions to customers by forging documents and lying to them.
Authorities did not identify Tucker's employer in a 12-page complaint filed by the SEC in U.S. District Court in Roanoake on Thursday. FINRA BrokerCheck indicates she registered with UBS Financial Services in November 2007 and resigned in April 2013.
A UBS spokesman said the firm put Tucker on administrative leave upon learning of the allegations.
"UBS made full restitution to the clients impacted by her actions. We have cooperated very closely with all regulators and law enforcement who have reviewed this activity," the UBS spokesman said.
The SEC said Tucker agreed to settle the charges and pay back $730,289. Meanwhile, FINRA barred Tucker from the industry in June 2013 for failing to respond to the agency's requests for information, according to BrokerCheck.
Tucker could not be reached for comment. Her lawyer, James P. Cargill, also based in Roanoke, Va., was unavailable.
The SEC's court complaint details how Tucker allegedly robbed her victims.
"Tucker befriended her customers and gained their trust, only to be stealing their money behind their backs and giving them phony documents to hide it," said Sharon Binger, director of the SECs Philadelphia office, in a prepared statement.
In one case, Tucker was accused of misappropriating $347,000 dollars from a blind couple over four years, according to court documents. She allegedly forged the couple's checks and cashed them at a credit union, authorities said.
During a two-week period in September 2009, she allegedly withdrew $16,350 from the customer's brokerage account, and concealed the activities partly by fabricating documents, according to authorities.
Her actions were discovered in late March 2013. Court documents do not say how she was detected.
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