Retired investors scammed by man they trusted
He was a trusted investment adviser for decades. But he targeted his most vulnerable clients and stole their life savings.
Investigators said Kevin James was a real-life Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He stole more than a million dollars from those who trusted him and then used the money for himself.
"Most of his clients are in their 70s and 80s and trusted him for numerous years," explained U.S. Postal Inspector Kerry Jaskolski.
James sold them on what he claimed was a new investment with a high rate of return.
"Kevin James told them to cash out their life insurance policies and annuities and use that money to re-invest in a program FSP. To our knowledge that program does not exist," added Jaskolski.
More than 15 people lost $1.4 million. Inspectors said James spent that money on homes, credit cards, vacations and tickets to sporting events.
"All of these victims are elderly and have given this individual their entire life savings, so most of these victims are out of this money and worried about how they are going to live their life," said Jaskolski.
James was sentenced to 10 years in a federal prison on securities fraud, mail fraud and money laundering.
Postal inspectors said to avoid a similar scam, do your homework before investing.
"In this case, he gave no documentation to any of the victims regarding FSP's plan," said Jaskolski.
And be wary of any investment promising huge returns.
"No adviser is ever going to guarantee a high rate of return or percentage you will receive," Jaskolski added.
Some additional red flags from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission include pressure to send money right now and statements like, "everyone is buying it." Remember, follow your gut: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Copyright 2014 by News4Jax.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.