It is being reported that Daniel E. Becerril II, a financial advisor formerly registered with FINRA and residing in Huntington Beach, California, was recently arrested for allegedly taking part in a complex murder-for-profit scheme.
Law enforcement officials claim Mr. Becerril stabbed one of his investor clients, Alexander Merman, a 35-year-old elementary school teacher, artist and Russian immigrant, in 2008.
According to the reports, police allege Mr. Becerril stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from Mr. Merman and killed him when he found out.
Detectives say Mr. Becerril owed Mr. Merman $250,000 and stole an additional $300,000 from his investment accounts, and they have amassed enough evidence to link him to Mr. Merman’s killing.
Police say they uncovered more fraud during the investigation for a total of $700,000 in theft and additional reports indicate that Mr. Merman’s killing may have been Mr. Becerril attempting to cover up a large Ponzi scheme.
According to his FINRA Broker Report, this is not the first allegation of theft/fraud raised by a client of Mr. Becerril. In a FINRA filing last month, a client accused Mr. Becerril of taking his daughter’s inheritance (some $11,500) and, instead of investing it in mutual funds, placed the money in his own bank account. Mr. Becerril was then barred from the financial industry by FINRA after an investigation for misusing customer funds and failing to respond to a request for documents.
The broker report also reveals that Mr. Becerril has been employed by various FINRA broker-dealers over the years. From the report it appears that from 09/2007 – 08/2009, Mr. Becerril was employed by Veritrust Financial, LLC. From 06/2005 – 08/2006, he was employed by Quest Capital Strategies and from 06/2002 – 06/2003 he was employed by Foresters Equity Services, Inc. To the extent that any theft of client funds occurred while Mr. Becerril was employed by any of these firms, the firms may be liable for failure to properly supervise Mr. Becerril.
If you are concerned about investments you made with Mr. Becerril, the securities attorneys of The White Law Group may be able to help. For a free consultation, please call the firm’s Chicago office at 312/238-9650.
The White Law Group, LLC is a national securities fraud, securities arbitration, investor protection, and securities regulation/compliance law firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Boca Raton, Florida.
For more information on The White Law Group, visit http://www.whitesecuritieslaw.com.