St. Louis Woman Pleads Guilty to $6 Million Investment Scheme
Victoria McGee-Harris, a securities broker from St. Louis, pled guilty to fraud charges on Thursday in a $6 million investment fraud case ("St. Louis broker admits $6 million investment scam, feds say," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 24, 2011).
According to court documents, McGee-Harris admitted to (individually and as Metro East Insurance Group) defrauding numerous clients as a licensed insurance agent and securities broker in Swansea, Illinois. Over a period of seven years (beginning in January of 2003), she convinced clients to pay for investment and insurance products that were never purchased. Instead, she misappropriated client funds, comingled them in her personal accounts, and used the money for personal purposes ("Victoria McGee-Harris admits to multi-million dollar fraud investment scheme," KSDK.com, March 24, 2011). She also misrepresented and omitted key investment facts, and opened new investor accounts with money obtained from other investors.
The Illinois Secretary of State suspended McGee-Harris's license in January of 2010. She is scheduled to be sentenced on July 8. She faces up to 30 years in prison and/or $250,000 in fines and mandatory restitution.