A former Ameriprise Financial advisor and registered securities agent pleaded guilty to defrauding her clients of nearly $1 million, part of which she used to pay for private school tuition and luxury vacations, the U.S. Attorney for Minnesota announced Wednesday.
Susan Elizabeth Walker, 50, a resident of Plymouth, Minn., carried out her scheme between 2008 and 2013, during which time she took money from at least 24 clients, much of it from retirement accounts, according to court papers. She entered the guilty plea to one count of mail fraud and one count of tax evasion in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis.
“The theft of investment funds by trusted financial advisors erodes the public’s confidence in the market,” U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger said.
Walker, who was registered with Finra and with the Minnesota Department of Commerce, opened investment brokerage accounts in her own name, and in the names of several clients without their knowledge or authorization, which she used to conceal money stolen from other clients, according to court documents.
Walker also failed to pay $325,000 in taxes tied to the funds she obtained through the fraud, Luger said.