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Washington-Area Financial Advisor Who Faked Suicide Charged with Fraud, Stealing Retired Client's IRA

Chad M. Kohler, Esq.

Aaron Travis Beaird, an Enumclaw, WA financial services and life insurance salesman who allegedly faked his own and a client’s death, has been arrested and charged with defrauding at least five clients out of approximately $2 million. Though Beaird was registered with neither FINRA nor the SEC, he claimed online that he had been a finance and insurance advisor for more than 10 years.

The charging documents accuse Beaird of diverting clients’ insurance payments into his personal accounts, of providing clients with falsified and fraudulent statements, and of emptying one client’s IRA account without the client’s knowledge or consent. He is also accused of convincing a retired client to use money from his IRA to purchase a life insurance policy from American United Life Insurance Company. The policy included a $2 million death benefit, which Beaird allegedly attempted to obtain by submitting a fraudulent death claim.

According to FBI investigators, an FBI team found Beaird’s car parked near a bridge on June 23, two days after one of the co-owners of Beaird’s firm allegedly confronted him about the fraudulent death claim. A note allegedly found inside the car stated that Beaird had jumped to his death. The note also allegedly referenced fraudulent conduct and claimed responsibility for at least one client’s losses. Spencer Walker, the special agent in charge of the investigation against Beaird, reported that the note was signed “Travis the scam man.”

Officials arrested Beaird at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on July 2, after he returned to Washington from an undisclosed location. A hearing in the case has been scheduled for this week.

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