A North Carolina federal appeals court docket upheld a 40-year sentence for a former Raleigh-based funding advisor convicted of funding advisor fraud, wire switch fraud, and aggravated id theft.
Stephen Condon Peters, the proprietor of VisionQuest Wealth Administration, was convicted in 2019 of a Ponzi-like scheme wherein he defrauded shoppers by diverting them into investments that immediately benefited him, in line with the Justice Division. Peters was additionally sentenced to greater than $ 15 million in redress as a part of the conviction. Appearing US Legal professional G. Norman Acker mentioned the court docket’s resolution put an finish to Peters’ attraction.
“The numerous victims of former funding advisor Stephen Peters have been holding their breath for years, ready for any information of the end result of his calling to allow them to get on with their lives,” he mentioned. “With this outcome, this workplace can now resume its efforts to liquidate belongings and return them to the victims as quickly as potential.”
In keeping with the DOJ, proof from the trial confirmed that Peters had inspired VisionQuest Wealth Administration shoppers to buy promissory word loans from 2009 to 2017 and promised traders would get an 8% to 9% annual return on their major funding over 5 years . Peters instructed traders that the bonds have been a “low danger funding” and that the proceeds from the bonds can be invested in firms that will generate earnings.
However Peters stole a big chunk of traders’ cash and saved the rip-off going by working a Ponzi-like system on its traders, in line with the DOJ. In a single separate 2017 grievance from the Securities and Change Fee, Peters reportedly used not less than $ 4.4 million of the funds on private bills, together with transforming a North Carolina farm, shopping for artwork, and constructing a Costa Rican trip house, whereas additionally elevating almost $ 5 million in new funds Buyers used to pay earlier traders. In early 2017, the SEC started investigating Peters’ funding actions, in line with the DOJ’s indictment.
“Peters have corruptly tried to affect and hinder the enforcement course of by attempting to withhold and conceal data, fabricate data and make false statements,” the indictment reads.
Along with these makes an attempt to thwart the investigation, Peters solid a letter to his former compliance officer and backdated it to put the burden of exposing Peters’ disputes on that individual, the DOJ mentioned. Peters fabricated information on quite a few paperwork that ended up in SEC investigations, together with shopper steadiness sheets, asset administration contracts, enterprise disclosures, and compliance memoranda. In keeping with the DOJ, Peters additionally sworn himself in throughout his week-long jury trial in 2019.
Along with imprisonment and reparation, the court docket additionally ordered a forfeiture of property in opposition to Peters.