Ethel investment adviser sentenced to over 13 years in prison for stealing $8.2 million from clients

Ethel investment adviser sentenced to over 13 years in prison for stealing $8.2 million from clients

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - An East Feliciana Parish investment adviser has been sentenced to over 13 years and three months in a federal prison for stealing over $8.2 million from 30 clients in an investment fraud scheme that lasted for seven years, Acting U.S. Attorney Corey Amundson announced Thursday.

U.S. District Judge James J. Brady sentenced Bryan Lee Addington, 56, of Ethel, La., to 159 months in federal prison. Addington was also ordered to make restitution payments to his victims in the amount of $5,393,346.63. He will be required to serve a three-year term of supervised release when he is released from federal prison.

Addington was convicted of mail fraud and aggravated identity in March after he pleaded guilty to the charges and admitted that he ran a multi-million dollar investment fraud scheme from January 2010 through April 2016. During his guilty plea, he acknowledged that he failed to invest his victims' funds as promised and instead spent the money on personal expenses, according to Amundson.

Prosecutors say Addington sent promissory notes to his victims that he had no intention of honoring along with false account statements, which were often addressed from fake post office boxes. Addington was barred as a broker with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in March 2011, after an investigation into allegations of misappropriating client funds.

The Advocate reported in March, that a grand jury alleged that Addington would spend some of the stolen funds at places like fancy restaurants, casinos, Victoria's Secret, LSU athletic events, and Disney.

Acting U.S. Attorney Amundson issued a written statement about the case saying,

"For years, the defendant stole from dozens of victims who had placed their trust in him and lied to the victims to conceal his fraudulent scheme. We are pleased that he has finally been brought to justice, and we hope that today's sentence will send a strong message to other corrupt financial advisers whose unchecked greed may tempt them to defraud their clients. I sincerely appreciate the hard work of the federal and state agencies, and the prosecutors from this office, who worked as a team to bring this defendant's sophisticated and long-running scheme to an end."

Special Agent-in-Charge, Jerome R. McDuffie with IRS-Criminal Investigation also issued a statement saying:

"Bryan Addington lived a life filled with excess and luxury while he robbed his victims of their security, savings, and peace of mind. Now, he will have to serve time for his criminal actions. To those individuals who are looking to grow their wealth by defrauding others, know that the special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation are policing the financial industries. We stand ready to assist our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners in their efforts to hold fraudsters such as Addington accountable for their victimization of the innocent."

The case is being handled by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Louisiana, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, and the Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions, in coordination with the Louisiana Department of Insurance's Division of Insurance Fraud and Louisiana State Police.

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