James Couture, LPL Advisor, Faces 20 years in Prison for Defrauding Investors
According to a press announcement on September 8, 2022, financial advisor James Kenneth Couture, 42, of Sutton, Mass reportedly pleaded guilty to four counts of wire fraud, four counts of aggravated identity theft, one count of investment adviser fraud and one count of witness tampering. He is reportedly scheduled for sentencing on Jan. 11, 2022.
From 2009 to 2020, Couture, a registered investment adviser in Worcester, Mass., allegedly misappropriated approximately $2.8 million from his clients by purportedly transferring funds out of his clients’ accounts, investing it in fictitious mutual funds and then selling other clients’ holdings to pay investment returns, according to the announcement.
In June 2016, Couture purportedly liquidated one client’s variable annuities to fund withdrawals by another client. In December 2019 and January 2020, Couture purportedly paid a client he had previously allegedly defrauded by selling other clients’ mutual funds.
As part of this alleged scheme, Couture reportedly forged clients’ signatures on documents, and told clients that by signing certain documents that the proceeds of transactions would be used for the clients’ benefit. Couture also purportedly stole from clients using their own profit-sharing plans and made transactions in their names to hide his allegedly fraudulent activity.
According to the press announcement, after Couture was initially charged with the fraudulent scheme in June 2021, he allegedly engaged in witness tampering by creating fake documents purported to be for his clients’ accounts and providing false information to at least one victim in the case for close to six months. Couture was then reportedly charged with witness tampering on Jan. 14, 2022.
Couture faces up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and fines of more than $250,000 for the various charges. The SEC filed parallel civil charges against Couture on June 1, 2020.
According to his FINRA Broker report, Couture was reportedly affiliated with the following firms, among others during his career in the securities industry:
02/27/2009 – 07/16/2020, LPL FINANCIAL LLC (CRD#:6413), WORCESTER, MA,
02/01/2006 – 02/27/2009, LINCOLN FINANCIAL SECURITIES CORPORATION (CRD#:3870), WORCESTER, MA
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) reportedly barred Couture in October 2020 after the above allegations. Couture reportedly has five customer complaints on his broker record from 2020-2021.
Potential Lawsuits to Recover Investment Losses
The White Law Group is investigating potential securities claims involving former LPL representative James Couture and the liability his employers may have for failure to properly supervise him.
To learn more about our investigation, please see:Financial Advisor James Couture Charged with Witness Tampering after Fraud Allegations
When brokers abuse client accounts or conduct transactions that violate securities laws, such as making, the brokerage firm they are working with may be liable for investment losses. Brokerage firms that fail to monitor the business activities of their employees may be liable for investment losses due to negligent supervision for the misconduct of their employees.
The brokerage firms can be held responsible for any losses in a FINRA arbitration claim if it is determined that they failed to properly supervise their agent.
If you are concerned about investments with James Couture and LPL Financial, the securities attorneys of The White Law Group may be able to help you. For a free consultation with a securities attorney, please call 888-637-5510.
The White Law Group, LLC is a national securities fraud, securities arbitration, investor protection, and securities regulation/compliance law firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Seattle, Washington.
For more information on The White Law Group, visit www.WhiteSecuritiesLaw.com.
Tags: James Couture, James Couture complaints, James Couture conversion, James Couture FINRA, James Couture investigation, James Couture James Couture guilty plea, James Couture lawsuit, James Couture LPL Financial, James Couture Mass Last modified: March 24, 2023