A former top advisor for Merrill Lynch was sentenced to three years and four months in prison by a federal judge on Wednesday.

Thomas Buck had pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud in October 2017, and agreed at the time to pay a $5 million civil penalty after prosecutors alleged that he charged clients $2 million in excessive commissions and failed to recommend fee-based accounts.

Prosecutors had sought a 78-month sentence for the 65-year-old Buck.

Judge James Sweeney of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, also imposed two years of supervised release on Buck and ordered him to complete 200 hours of community service, according to a story in the Indianapolis Business Journal.

Buck, who for 30 years was a registered financial advisor with Merrill Lynch, joined the company’s Indianapolis office in 1981. He was ranked among the nation’s top 100 financial advisors by Barron’s when Merrill Lynch fired him in March 2015.

According to a 2017 news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana, at the time he was charged Buck defrauded some clients by charging excessive commissions and intentionally failing to advise them of cheaper pricing options for his services. 

The release specifically pointed out that Buck allegedly took discretion on certain client accounts, placing trades without their authorization, which resulted in clients paying commissions on these trades. It also noted that Buck allegedly told clients they were paying less in commissions than they actually were. In addition, Buck allegedly lied about repeatedly informing Merrill Lynch compliance personnel that he had made the clients aware of the potentially cheaper pricing structure, and his action caused clients to suffer a total loss of $2 million, the release noted.

The Journal reported that Buck expressed remorse and took responsibility for his actions. He addressed the court along with his wife, four daughters and family and friends in the gallery.

“I make no excuse. I point the finger at no one but myself,” Buck said. “I have let down nearly everyone who has ever meant anything to me.”

The Journal noted that about 30 people, including one of Buck’s victims, were present for his remarks.