The following is an article from the Reno Gazette-Journal, from Sept. 4th., 2012, written by Jaclyn O’Malley:
Former Reno financial advisor indicted by feds related to ponzi scheme
A former Reno financial advisor has been indicted on federal charges related to duping elderly and inexperienced investors of at least $2 million with a long-running ponzi scheme involving U.S. treasury bonds.
Gary Harrison Lane, 59, was booked Friday into the Washoe County Jail on a warrant charging him with the Reno federal grand jury’s Aug. 8 indictment, and a warrant on a 2011 Reno police charge related to bounced checks.
It was not known Tuesday if Lane had obtained an attorney. No court date had been set. He remained in custody Tuesday.
The indictment charges Lane with 12 counts of mail fraud related to a dozen investors who gave him nearly $2.1 million, combined, between March 2010 and March 2011. It alleges that Lane deposited their money into E-trade accounts not affiliated with his employer, while the investors believed he was purchasing U.S. Treasury Bonds on their behalfs.
Lane is also charged in the indictment with five counts of tax evasion related to allegedly filing income tax returns between 2007 and 2010 where he listed his taxable income as an amount lower than what he earned.
The court document said Lane’s alleged fraud began at least in May 2002, and continued until March 7, 2011. It added he had targeted investors who were elderly, or who had no investment experience. The indictment did not list the hometowns of the victims, or what led to the criminal investigation.
Lane had worked in Reno as a financial advisor for Bank of America Investment Services, which later merged with Merrill Lynch, until March 2011, the indictment said. During his tenure with the business, Lane developed a scheme to defraud investors through an E-trade account instead of following appropriate company proceedures, the indictment said.
Clients, the indictment said, were told their money would be invested in U.S. Treasury Bonds which would pay more than 6 percent interest, and would mature within two years. After Lane obtained the clients’ money, he allegedly created false confirmations that he would send the investors by mail. Lane allegedly gave the investors’ money to his wife, who then put the funds into her own E-trade account. The money was then allegedly withdrawn for personal use, or as how Lane would pay other investors through the ponzi scheme, by claiming the money was the interest gained from the bonds.
The indictment said Lane never purchased any U.S. treasury bonds on behalf of the investors, and there has never been a time during the period of the alleged fraud where return rates on the government bonds were 6 percent after a maturity period of two years or less.
Internet professional networking sites list Lane as a Reno-based financial broker with 30 years industry experience. His last address is listed as an apartment in Reno.
Florida securities attorney Lars Soreide said Tuesday he has represented a few clients who have recently settled with broker firms connected to Lane, that he accused of negligently superivising Lane’s activities and “selling away” investments. He said he could not give specifics because the civil cases were resolved under confidential agreements. Soreide said had the brokers properly supervised Lane, they would have uncovered the fraud.