A former Royal Alliance broker was indicted and arrested by federal agents yesterday for allegedly stealing more than $2.1 million from two of his elderly clients over the course of a decade.
According to the complaint, from July 2007 to November 2017, Gary Basralian allegedly misappropriated at least approximately $738,000 from one of his clients, and approximately $1.4 million from another. He is charged with two counts of wire fraud and one count of investment adviser fraud.
The 70-year-old broker told his clients that he would invest the funds in brokerage accounts or in real estate and high-interest loans, which he was to manage on their behalf. Instead, he allegedly used the money for personal expenses, including payments on his credit cards and BMW.
“The terrible part of this story is that Mr. Basralian’s victims were all, for the most part, elderly widows with physical and mental handicaps,” Jonathan Kurta, the victims’ attorney said in a statement. “He intentionally preyed on his most vulnerable clients, making his actions all the more despicable.”
Basralian, who entered the financial industry in 1974, was affiliated with Royal Alliance for the last 28 years. He was allowed to resign from the firm in December 2017 after they received a complaint alleging that he had “invested a substantial portion of a client’s funds in a number of suspect investments, failed to disclose tax liens, and misappropriated monies that belonged to the client.”
FINRA barred Basralian three months later for failing to participate in a hearing related to the fraud allegations.