BOSTON – A Worcester-based funding adviser was sentenced at the moment in reference to a long-running scheme to steal greater than $2.8 million from six purchasers.
James Kenneth Couture, 42, of Sutton, was sentenced by U.S. District Decide Nathaniel M. Gorton to 100 months in jail and three years of supervised launch. Couture was additionally ordered to pay restitution of $1,924,585 and forfeiture of $2,874,585. In September 2022, Couture pleaded responsible to 4 counts of wire fraud, 4 counts of aggravated id theft, one rely of funding adviser fraud and one rely of witness tampering.
Couture was a registered funding adviser, with an workplace in Worcester. In that capability, he invested his purchasers’ funds in securities and numerous insurance coverage merchandise, together with annuities, and arrange and assisted purchasers with profit-sharing plans and different retirement merchandise. From roughly 2009 to 2020, Couture misappropriated roughly $2.8 million from his purchasers by transferring funds out of his purchasers’ accounts, investing it in fictitious mutual funds after which promoting different purchasers’ holdings to pay funding returns. In June 2016, Couture liquidated one shopper’s variable annuities to fund withdrawals by one other shopper. Equally, in December 2019 and January 2020, Couture paid a shopper he had beforehand defrauded by promoting different purchasers’ mutual funds. As a part of this scheme, Couture solid purchasers’ signatures on paperwork, or brought about purchasers to signal paperwork by falsely representing that the proceeds of transactions could be used for the purchasers’ profit. Couture additionally stole from purchasers utilizing their very own profit-sharing plans and conducting transactions of their names to disguise his fraudulent transactions.
Couture was initially charged in reference to this scheme in June 2021. After these preliminary expenses have been filed, Couture engaged in witness tampering by creating pretend paperwork presupposed to be for his purchasers’ accounts and offering false data to at the least one sufferer within the case for about six months. Couture was subsequently charged with witness tampering in connection together with his efforts to deceive this sufferer on Jan. 14, 2022.
United States Lawyer Rachael Rollins, Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Particular Agent in Cost of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division and Joleen D. Simpson, Particular Agent in Cost of the Inside Income Service’s Prison Investigation in Boston made the announcement at the moment. The U.S. Securities & Trade Fee and the Worker Advantages Safety Administration of the U.S. Division of Labor offered invaluable help with the investigation. Assistant U.S. Lawyer Kriss Basil of Rollins’ Securities, Monetary & Cyber Fraud Unit and Assistant U.S. Lawyer Carol Head, Chief of Rollins’ Asset Restoration Unit, prosecuted the case.