SEC Charges Advisor Patrick Churchville with $11 Million Fraudulent Investment Scheme

shutterstock_63635611The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently announced fraud charges against Rhode Island investment adviser ClearPath Wealth Management, LLC, (ClearPath) and its president, Patrick Churchville (Churchville), for operating a fraudulent investment scheme that resulted in at least $11 million investor losses.

According to the complaint, from December 2010 onward ClearPath and Churchville diverted deposits from new investors to pay prior investors, used proceeds from selling investments to pay unrelated investors, used investors’ funds as collateral for personal loans, used investors’ money to repay the loans, converted investor funds, and also outright stole $2.5 million of investor funds to purchase a waterfront home in Barrington, Rhode Island for Churchville. The SEC’s complaint alleges that Churchville performed deceptive acts and used misleading accounting tricks to conceal the fraud.

The SEC’s alleged that when ClearPath’s investors requested distributions of their investments in September 2013, Churchville lied to investors about the status, worth, and disposition of those investments. Four other entities: ClearPath Multi-Strategy Fund I, L.P., ClearPath Multi-Strategy Fund II, L.P., ClearPath Multi-Strategy Fund III, L.P., and HCR Value Fund, L.P. were named by the SEC as relief defendants.

From August 2009, through February 2011, Churchville was associated with the Spire Securities, LLC brokerage firm.

Under the FINRA rules, a brokerage firm owes a duty to properly monitor and supervise its employees in order to detect and prevent brokers from engaging in illegal investments activity. In order to properly supervise their brokers each firm is required to have procedures in order to monitor the activities of each advisor’s activities and interaction with the public. Investment schemes often occur where brokerage firms either fail to put in place a reasonable supervisory system or fail to actually implement that system. Supervisory failures allow brokers to engage in unsupervised misconduct that can include all manner improper conduct.

Investors who have suffered losses may be able recover their losses through securities arbitration. The attorneys at Gana LLP are experienced in representing investors in cases of investment fraud and brokerage firms failure to supervise their representatives. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.