A Chicago-area financial advisor who also advertises herself as a film producer and actress has been barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory after two of her former broker-dealers terminated her for soliciting client money for her film production business.

The advisor, Helen Grace Caldwell, has also reportedly been sued by the Cook County Public Guardian’s Office in Illinois, which said that Caldwell funded her film production business with money from an elderly client who suffered from dementia, according to a December story by the Chicago Sun-Times.  

Caldwell, who also goes by Helen Grace Corpuz and is active on social media, declined to provide testimony in a Finra investigation. She’s no longer registered with a Finra firm, according to BrokerCheck, but she previously worked with Wells Fargo from 2021 to 2022 and before that worked with Citigroup for nine years from 2012 to 2021. Both firms filed U5 termination forms saying Caldwell had been discharged over outside business activities.

On August 10, 2022, Citigroup filed an amended Form U5 disclosing that its internal review had concluded that Caldwell “did not adequately disclose her outside business activity, and was soliciting firm clients to invest in her outside business activity, several of whom subsequently made investments.”

Caldwell’s web page says that she’s a financial services professional and wealth management consultant with more than 25 years of experience, and also lists her as a filmmaker with 10 years of production experience acting as both a producer and director. Her profile on IMDb, a film database, lists her as a producer on the comedy film "Give Till It Hurts" and another film called "Emblem." She also has director and actor credits. Canal also raised money for a film on Indiegogo called "Ankst," on which Caldwell is listed as a co-director. According to the pitch, the film was made by Canal Productions, “a Chicago-based independent film production company, led by Helen Grace Caldwell and Mike Krukowski.”

According to the Chicago Sun-Times report, the Cook County public guardian said that Caldwell bilked a retiree with dementia, Priscilla Eddings, out of $400,000, and used the money for Canal Productions LLC (the company is owned by Caldwell and has no apparent relationship to a production company with a similar name based in New York associated with actor Robert DeNiro). According to the lawsuit, Eddings was a 76-year-old nursing assistant who began working with Caldwell when she was at Citibank in 2017.  After Eddings moved into assisted living, the lawsuit said she began writing checks to Canal Productions.

“Over two years the checks totaled $400,500, an amount equal to nearly half of her savings and estate, according to the lawsuit filed by Public Guardian Charles Golbert,” said the Sun-Times story. The checks ran as high as $75,000, Golbert was quoted as saying. Golbert's suit said that Eddings didn't have the mental capacity to understand the investment.

Golbert was ultimately given guardianship over Eddings after Eddings’ granddaughter sought the role, a move that triggered the investigation, according to the newspaper.

Caldwell did not return a request for comment. According to Caldwell's BrokerCheck page, she was the subject of two customer disputes in the 2000s at two different broker-dealer firms, one of which was Chase Investment Services. Both of these disputes resulted in settlements in the low six figures.

(This story has been updated.)