Massachusetts Fines United Planners and its Former Broker Over Alleged $1 Million Fraud

The Massachusetts Securities Division has fined United Planners Financial Services and one of its former brokers, Thomas T. Riquier, who allegedly orchestrated a complex real estate scheme and defrauded investors and other clients out of at least $1 million over a 26-year period.

Last year, state regulators charged Riquier with violating state securities laws, while United Planners was charged with failure to supervise its agent.

The original complaint alleged that Riquier solicited money from mainly elderly investors to purchase investment property that would be sold for a profit, but in reality, the investments were used to purchase property he already owned.

As of the filing of the complaint last February, the property had not provided any returns on the money invested, the regulators noted. The complaint further alleged that Riquier solicited more than $800,000 in private loans from his clients, in violation of state and federal laws.

“Unfortunately, this scheme went on for so long before it was brought to my office’s attention that many of the original investors and clients have died,” said William Galvin, Secretary of the Commonwealth. “It was my primary goal to ensure that the remaining elderly investors, who had not seen a penny returned on their now 27-year-old investment, receive restitution.”

Riquier and United Planners agreed to jointly make offers of rescission and restitution to investors. Riquier will also be censured, permanently barred from registering with the Massachusetts Securities Division and the Securities and Exchange Commission, and will pay a fine of $50,000.

United Planners must pay a fine of $100,000 and hire an independent consultant to assist in overhauling its supervisory procedures.

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