Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Investment advisor's insurance license "suspended pending revocation proceedings"

The Washington state insurance commissioner's office has issued an emergency order suspending the insurance license of a Kirkland-based investment advisor who allegedly ran a years-long multi-million-dollar scheme to defraud investors.

Rhonda L. Breard has been licensed to sell insurance in Washington state for nearly 20 years. According to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court last month, Breard became an investment advisor for wealthy clients. She told them she was investing their money in a variety of financial and insurance products. She provided financial statements falsely showing that the investments had been made. Instead, according to investigators, she spent the money on herself.

The federal complaint estimates that Breard defrauded at least 20 investors out of millions of dollars.

"The Licensee knowingly devised a scheme and artifice to defraud investors and to obtain money and property under false pretenses, representations and promises," reads the emergency order by the state insurance commissioner's office. It gave her three days to turn in her state insurance license.

On April 6th, Breard pleaded guilty in federal court to a single count of felony mail fraud. (The financial statements were mailed to her clients.) She faces up to 20 years in prison.

The order was issued Thursday and takes effect today It orders Breard to turn in her insurance certificate within 72 hours.

(Updated to include link to order and correct a formatting error. Sorry about that.)

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