Thomas Edward Andrews, formerly a stockbroker with LPL Financial, is currently
serving time in federal prison after pleading guilty to securities and
mail fraud. The Securities and Exchange Commission has recently charged
him with investor fraud, claiming he misappropriated more than $8 million
from 23 investors from 2010 through 2015.
On April 5, the SEC filed a complaint in a Utah federal court alleging
that Thomas Andrews defrauded investors by convincing them to liquidate
their investments and put their money into fictitious investment accounts
called “the Jackson Trust” and “the Lincoln.”
He claimed these accounts were guaranteed to provide a good return on
These accounts were actually bank accounts that Thomas Edwards would use
to transfer funds to himself, the SEC complaint alleges.
According to the SEC, Thomas Andrews misappropriated more than $8 million
from the investors. He also allegedly paid his former assistant Scott
Christensen $1 million for his assistance in perpetuating the investor fraud.
“From 2010 until the fall of 2015, Andrews spend the investor funds
on personal items such as cars, mobile homes, alimony, trips to Disneyland,
guns, dining out and numerous stays at luxury resorts in California,”
the investor fraud lawsuit states.
The victims of the investment fraud scheme reportedly included Utah residents
from a rural community, most of whom were unsophisticated in securities,
the SEC complaint states.
“Almost all of Andrews’ victims were people he had known while
growing up in Nephi, Utah,” the SEC’s investor fraud lawsuit
states. “These individuals were unsophisticated in investment matters
and accustomed to doing business on a handshake.”
In December 2016, Thomas Andrews was sentenced to 97 months in prison and
was ordered to pay more than $8.34 million in restitution.
Scott Christensen is also reportedly serving time in prison for securities
fraud and for making a false statement to a federal agent. He was ordered
to pay $1 million in restitution.
How to Avoid Investor Fraud
Investor fraud can have devastating effects on unsuspecting investors and
their finances. Despite laws and regulations designed to protect investors
from stockbroker misconduct, there are unscrupulous stockbrokers who seek
to take advantage of inexperienced investors.
Be careful before you invest. A good rule of thumb is that if something
seems too good to be true, it probably is. Ask questions and do some research
before you entrust your hard-earned money to a stockbroker. A trustworthy
stockbroker will respect your desire to take your time before making a
decision and won’t pressure you to act right away.
Some stockbrokers come across as trustworthy and likeable but use these
traits to trick investors into making poor decisions. Before you invest,
check out the person’s qualifications to make sure you don’t
become the victim of a scam.
If you suspect you have fallen victim to investment fraud, contact the
experienced investor fraud attorneys at MeyerWilson to learn about your
legal options. Our team of investment fraud lawyers will help you understand
your rights and seek to recover any financial losses you may have suffered.
Call us today or fill out our online form to request a free case evaluation.