A Connecticut advisor has been sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to bilking multiple clients out of $1.6 million.

Elias Herbert Hafen, 64, was sentenced on Wednesday to 30 months in prison by a federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan.

Hafen pleaded guilty in September to investment advisor fraud after misappropriating client funds. He allegedly persuaded his clients to transfer money directly to his personal bank account for investing. 

On Wednesday he was also sentenced to three years of supervised release, ordered to pay $745,000 in restitution, and ordered to forfeit $806,750.

A parallel civil case, brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, remains pending.

According to the SEC's complaint, from 2011 through 2018, Hafen, while employed as a New York City-based registered representative and investment advisor at large financial institutions, namely Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley, engaged in a scheme in which he convinced his retail clients that he had access to a purported investment opportunity outside the financial institution where he worked.

The complaint said he told clients that the investment would pay an annual 6% return and had little risk. He advised them to take their money out of the financial institutions—by liquidating stock holdings and personal retirement accounts—and deposit that money into their personal bank accounts, then transfer or wire the money to Hafen’s personal bank account.

He then pocketed the money and used it for his own personal use by paying house, car and credit card expenses for himself and family members, among other things, the complaint said.

The SEC also noted that while some of the victims received a portion or all of their money back, most of the money was never repaid. Hafen, the complaint said, took more than $1.6 million from 11 victims over the seven-year period. Of the total $1.6 million, Hafen has returned approximately $650,000.