Update August 1, 2019 – Dawn Bennett Conviction- 20 Year Prison Sentence
Have you suffered losses investing with financial advisor Dawn Bennett? If so, the securities attorneys at The White Law Group may be able to help you to recover your losses by filing a FINRA arbitration claim against her employer.
Investment adviser Dawn Bennett was convicted Wednesday of charges she defrauded investors out of millions of dollars, according to reports.
Dawn Bennett, 56, was reportedly convicted on all 17 counts in her indictment including charges of securities fraud, wire fraud and bank fraud. The federal jury verdict came after a two-week trial in Maryland. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
Prosecutors allege Bennett used money that people had invested in her luxury sportswear company to finance her lavish lifestyle, cosmetic and anti-aging medical procedures, astrological gems, and religious voodoo rituals in India.
Bennett allegedly used promissory notes to raise more than $20 million from at least 46 investors in her company, DJBennett.com, according to prosecutors.
Many of the investors were longtime friends. Some knew her from Financial Myth Busting, a radio show she hosted in the Washington, D.C., area. Bennett allegedly promised a 15 percent return on their investment, while the company was reportedly losing millions of dollars year after year.
According to prosecutors, Bennett purportedly gave investors fake balance sheets and other fraudulent documents, to hide the company’s losses. Many investors lost their entire life savings or retirement funds when they gave their money to Bennett.
The FBI began investigating Bennett in December 2015 after the SEC formerly charged her with inflating the amount of assets she managed and exaggerating customers’ investment returns.
According to prosecutors, Bennett used investors’ money to pay off other investors and on personal expenses, in a Ponzi style scheme. She reportedly spent more than $141,000 on astrological gems, more than $100,000 on cosmetic medical procedures as well as $500,000 for a luxury suite at the Dallas Cowboys’ home stadium.
Update August 1, 2019- Bennett sentenced to 20 years in prison.
According to reports on Wednesday, in a federal court in Greenbelt, Maryland, Bennett was sentenced to 20 years in prison — one year for every million dollars she allegedly stole in a Ponzi scheme.
The judge ordered Bennett to pay $14.5 million in restitution and forfeit $14,306,842 in addition to the 20 year sentence.
Recovery of Investment Losses
The White Law Group has represented many of Dawn Bennett’s clients and continues to investigate the liability that her FINRA registered employer, Western International Securities, may have for failure to properly supervise her during her time with the firm as well as Western International Securities failure to warn firm customers about Dawn Bennett after she left Western International.
Those claims generally allege breach of fiduciary duty, negligent supervision, unsuitability in high-risk investments and failure to warn.
Brokerage firms are required to properly supervise all advisors they employ and to ensure that those advisors are complying with applicable FINRA rules and regulations. If these allegations can be proven and if it can be demonstrated that Bennett’s former employer failed to properly supervise her, her employer may be held responsible for the losses in a FINRA arbitration claim.
If you have suffered from Dawn Bennett fraud losses please call the securities attorneys at The White Law Group for a free consultation at (888)637-5510.
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 Franklin, Tennessee.
For more information on The White Law Group and its representation of investors in FINRA arbitration claims, please visit https://www.whitesecuritieslaw.com.