SEC charges former Transamerica rep with fraud

The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Scott Allen Fries, a former registered representative and investment adviser representative at Transamerica Financial Advisors in Cincinnati, with defrauding at least seven investors out of at least $178,000. The agency is seeking disgorgement and a civil penalty.

According to the SEC’s complaint, Fries recommended that certain individuals, including several of his brokerage customers and their relatives, provide him with funds to invest outside of his relationship with Transamerica. Between January 2016 and March 2019, at least seven people allegedly gave Fries a total of at least $178,000 to invest, the SEC said, and Fries betrayed their trust and spent their money on his own personal expenses.

To cover up his fraud, Fries allegedly created fake account statements, lied to his employer, and used a Ponzi-like scheme to repay a couple who demanded the return of their investment with funds from other investors.

Fries was discharged by Transamerica in July 2019 and barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. in August 2019 for failing to provide Finra with information in an investigation into his behavior.

[More: SEC charges former brokers with illegal securities sales]

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