James Couture, LPL, Update on Securities Fraud Investigation
According to an article in the Telegram & Gazette on February 3, 2022, financial advisor James K. Couture who was charged last year with stealing millions from clients in a scheme in which he produced fake account statements has reportedly been arrested again for allegedly creating more fake account statements in an attempt to “tamper with a witness.”
The article claims that Couture, 42, is currently being held without bail in federal prison as a judge decides whether to release him.
Last June, we reported that Couture sued by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and also indicted by the Department of Justice, for allegations of stealing nearly $2.9 million from clients in a long running scheme that ran from 2009 until 2020.
Couture’s alleged scheme, while reportedly registered with LPL Financial, included convincing some of his clients to transfer assets to a separate company he created called Legacy Financial LLC.
Legacy was apparently a shell company he purportedly created that offered no investment products, according to the charges. Couture allegedly created false documents to convince clients they were making money.
According to SEC charges, when clients asked for payouts from the accounts, Couture purportedly took money from one client to replace funds he had previously stolen from another.
For example, Couture allegedly liquidated one victim’s variable annuities valued at more than $900,000 to pay another client, he also sold two mutual funds in a victim’s retirement account to come up with cash, according to the SEC.
Couture Charged with Witness Tampering
According to the article, citing court documents, Couture did plead guilty to three counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft, but reportedly reneged on the deal. According to a superseding indictment on January 20, 2022, Couture allegedly tried to convince one of his victims with fake account statement that he never stole their money and was continuing to invest it.
Authorities alleged in court documents that Couture was aware that the victim was a witness against him, and attempted to con him again in order to influence his testimony, according to the article.
James Couture Barred from Securities Industry
According to his broker profile, Couture was reportedly registered with LPL Financial in Worcester MA from 2009 until July 2020. His broker report indicates he has several other business activities including Couture Wealth Management, CWM Retirement Plan Services and Couture Wealth Management Insurance Agency.
Couture reportedly has 3 disclosure events on his record including an employment separation and a customer complaint alleging misrepresentation that was denied in October 2020.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) reportedly barred Couture last October after LPL reportedly submitted a Form U5 terminating his registration and alleging that he altered identifying information, account balances and distributions in customer account statements; and used an unapproved email address.
Filing a Complaint against your Brokerage Firm
The White Law Group is investigating FINRA arbitration cases involving James Couture and the liability his employers may have for failure to properly supervise him. To learn more please see: SEC Charges James Couture, LPL Financial with Stealing $2.9 Million from Clients
When brokers abuse client accounts and conduct transactions that violate securities laws, the brokerage firm they are working with may be liable for investment losses. Brokerage firms that fail to monitor the business activities of their employees may be liable for investment losses due to negligent supervision for the misconduct of their employees.
If you suffered losses investing with James Couture and LPL Financial, the securities attorneys at The White Law Group may be able to help you. Please call 888-637-5510 for a free consultation, or visit us on the web at www.whitesecuritieslaw.com.
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 Seattle, Washington.