Former financial advisors Clement Chichester and Brittany Sias have been arrested,
“by detectives from the California Department of Insurance for allegedly
scamming a senior victim out of more than $1 million in cash and property,”
according to a California Department of Insurance press release. “The
two face more than two dozen felony counts, including identity theft,
embezzlement, forgery and fraud.”
FINRA barred the couple in October 2017 after they requested documents
and information during the course of its investigation and the brokers
failed to respond to FINRA's requests for documents and information.
According to Broker Check,
Clement Chichester and Brittany Sias worked at Western International Securities in Westlake
Village, California before being discharged in October 2017.
The brokers were both licensed insurance agents and engaged in insurance
sales as an outside business activity. According to investigators, the
couple earned massive commissions by allegedly convincing their elderly
client to buy unnecessary and unsuitable annuities, and later persuading
her to liquidate the policies to invest in real estate investment trusts.
Allegations by the Department of Insurance also claim that Chichester talked
the client into selling property that was valued at about $1 million to
him for just $68,800. The broker allegedly obtained the funds to purchase
the real estate by scamming another client.
More Victims Are Expected to Step Forward
The California Department of Insurance suspects that more scam victims
will be discovered as investigations proceed. If you or your loved one
lost money due to the couple's alleged scheme, you are encouraged
to call Meyer Wilson’s investment fraud lawyers right away at 888-390-6491.
Since inadequate supervision can result in brokerage firm liability when
broker misconduct causes financial losses,
you may be able to recover compensation from Chichester, Sias, and Western International Securities, Inc.