The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc., also known as FINRA, barred John Thornes, president of Thornes & Associates Inc. of Redlands, Calif., and suspended his broker-dealer firm over allegations that he stole $4.2 million from two clients, one of whom FINRA says suffers from Alzheimer’s disease writes Dan Jamieson of Investment News.
FINRA alleges that from December, 2010 and January, 2013, John Thornes converted customer assets in two trust accounts, using at least 50 transactions falsely characterized as loans, and transferred the money to two of his friends.
FINRA said that one victim was a 77-year-old retired homemaker with Alzheimer’s who lived in a nursing home, and Thornes diverted about $1.7 million from the homemaker’s $2 million trust account.
The other instance FINRA claimed a $3 million trust account created by a deceased friend of Thornes’ parents to fund educational scholarships was depleted of $2.5 million, using the same fictitious loan scheme.
None of the loans have been repaid.
The case was settled last Thursday and recently released by FINRA. It’s unclear whether Mr. Thornes faces any criminal charges in the matter.
If you believe a member of your family or a loved one has had money stolen by their broker, call Soreide Law Group for a free consultation with an attorney on how to potentially recover those losses call: 888-760-6552.