errill Lynch Broker Christopher Lee Hibbard Indicted For Fraud
Christopher Lee Hibbard (CRD#: 3176484, Louisville, Kentucky) is a prior registered representative of Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (“Merrill Lynch”) who was indicted in the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky on nine counts of wire fraud and one count of investment advisor fraud in connection with Hibbard’s unauthorized use of investors’ funds while employed with Merrill Lynch. Hibbard worked for Merrill Lynch from July 16, 2010 to January 26, 2018.
Christopher Lee Hibbard Allegedly Defrauded Investors
The November 6, 2018 indictment stated that from 2007 to 2017, Hibbard allegedly executed a scheme to defraud investors by making unapproved transfers from their accounts to Hibbard’s credit cards. Apparently, when the investors inquired into what transpired, Hibbard apparently made false and misleading statements to them to conceal his conduct. In sum, Hibbard allegedly stole $4,400,000 from investors through his scheme. If convicted, Hibbard could be required to pay as much as $260,000 in fines, and faces twenty years behind bars.
Before the indictment, on May 10, 2018, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) barred Hibbard from acting as a broker or otherwise associating with a broker-dealer firm. FINRA’s decision was based upon allegations that Hibbard failed to respond to its letter requesting information from him.
Customers Dispute Christopher Lee Hibbard’s Activities
Hibbard’s FINRA BrokerCheck Report shows complaints from Hibbard’s customers at Merrill Lynch and Morgan Keegan & Company LLC. A summary of those complaints is found below:
October 24, 2018 Complaint
On October 24, 2018, a written complaint was filed by a customer of Merrill Lynch. In general, the complaint stated that Hibbard misappropriated funds from the customer’s investment account between 2010 and 2018. The complaint is pending a resolution.
July 16, 2018 Complaint
A Merrill Lynch customer brought a complaint on July 16, 2018 in regards to Hibbard’s alleged sales practice violations and theft of the customer’s funds from 2010 to 2018. From the customer’s perspective, Hibbard misrepresented the nature of a variable annuity, made shoddy recommendations regarding the investments, and churned the customer’s account. Additionally, the customer stated that Hibbard stole the customer’s money. The customer’s damages have not been specified in the pending matter.
April 23, 2018 Complaint
A Merrill Lynch customer brought a complaint on April 23, 2018 alleging unauthorized activities and theft. In the complaint, the customer indicated that Hibbard made unauthorized withdrawals from the customer’s variable annuity, and stole the customer’s funds. As a result, on October 18, 2018 Merrill Lynch settled the customer’s complaint by paying the customer $2,250,000.
April 16, 2018 Complaint
A customer of Merrill Lynch indicated in an April 16, 2018 complaint that Hibbard committed fraud. Apparently, the fraud occurred between July 2010 and April 2018. Additionally, the customer claimed to have not been provided documentation regarding investment transactions. The matter is still underway.
March 12, 2018 Complaint
Customers of Merrill Lynch brought a complaint on March 12, 2018. Those customers alleged that Hibbard made unauthorized transactions; poorly advised the customers; misrepresented the terms of a variable annuity; failed to follow the customer’s investment instructions; and converted their funds. This complaint is still awaiting a resolution.
If you have experienced losses from Christopher Lee Hibbard, contact Soreide Law Group at (888) 760-6552 and speak with our qualified counsel about a possible recovery of your losses. Soreide Law Group represents clients nationwide and only charges a fee upon recovery of losses.