A Baltimore financial advisor has been indicted for defrauding clients, including the family of a girl who received a settlement for birth injuries and two elderly sisters who owned an annuity, one of whom had dementia.
Ralph Edward Thomas Jr., 52, was indicted Aug. 16 by a federal grand jury for defrauding clients of $838,350, which he used for his own purposes, including paying off credit card bills and other expenses.
Thomas was a vice president of Harbor Financial, a subsidiary of Harbor Bank, which offered brokerage, insurance products and financial planning, and was employed as a financial advisor by Wells Fargo Advisors LLC. He was a financial advisor who had licenses to sell life insurance, health insurance and variable annuities.
Thomas is accused of convincing the mother of a girl injured at birth to put her $3 million settlement into a trust at Harbor Bank. The annuity paid funds directly to the trust.
Thomas allegedly stole approximately $756,000 by withdrawing money from the trust and purchasing cashier's checks that he deposited in his personal bank accounts. The indictment charges he used $100,000 to buy a house in Reisterstown, Md., and luxury automobiles.
He also allegedly took out three mortgages in the name of the mother on her personal residence, without her permission, by forging her name on mortgage documents. He then used the money, $26,886, for personal expenses.
He also is accused of becoming the advisor for a retired Baltimore woman who oversaw the disbursements from an annuity that was shared by her and her 85-year-old sister, who suffered from dementia. The indictment says Thomas withdrew $75,000 from the account and used $42,000 of it for his personal benefit.
The indictment asks for forfeiture of the funds, the home and cars.