Advisor Allegedly Steered Client to 401(k) Fraudster
An Illinois investment advisor stands accused of causing close to half a million dollars in losses as a result of steering his client to a 401(k) program run by a fraudster, Law360.com writes.
Allpoints Inc., an architectural engineering firm, alleges Todd Rollins, an advisor with World Equity Group Inc., failed to investigate Vantage Benefits Administrators Inc. before recommending it as Allpoints’ new benefits administrator in 2014, the legal news website writes, citing a lawsuit filed in Cook County Court.
Rollins and World Equity “knew or should have reasonably known” Vantage's president and chief executive Jeffrey Richie had been barred from the financial services industry by the SEC in 2008 following an action involving securities fraud, according to the complaint cited by Law360.com.
As a result of Rollins’ recommendation, Allpoints’ 401(k) plan lost at least $438,919.40 from January to May 2017 as Vantage and Richie allegedly pulled assets out of it, according to the suit, the legal news website writes. The FBI apparently raided Vantage’s headquarters in October and the company was eventually shut down, Law360.com writes.
Allpoints alleges Rollins and World Equity failed to meet standards of care and provide appropriate investment guidance, and is seeking damages in excess of $50,000, according to the complaint cited by the legal news website, which could not reach representatives for any of the parties for comment.
The SEC had taken Richie to court in 2006 over a scheme through which he raised close to $3 million for a financial advice firm by overreporting revenues, according to an SEC news release cited by Law360.com.