The Securities and Exchange Commission has barred Kimberly Kitts, a former Royal Alliance adviser, who pleaded guilty late last year to criminal charges including investment adviser fraud, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in connection with stealing more than $3 million from her clients’ investment and retirement accounts. In March 2019, Kitts was sentenced to seven years and three months in federal prison, as well as three years of probation following her prison term.
According to the SEC, Kitts engaged in a six-year scheme to steal money from client accounts by forging their signatures on withdrawal requests from variable annuities, forging signatures to wire funds from client brokerage accounts, and misleading clients into withdrawing funds to make fake tax payments. She continued this practice until 2017 when a client questioned her about their dwindling account balance.
Through 82 unauthorized withdrawals, Kitts allegedly stole more than $3 million from seven clients, and then tried to conceal her actions through falsified account statements and other documentation. She used the money she stole for personal expenses, including paying for vacations and several luxury vehicles.
Kitts, who spent more than 13 years with Royal Alliance Associates, was fired in November 2017 for converting or misappropriating client funds, according to her BrokerCheck profile. She was suspended by FINRA and later barred for failing to request termination of her suspension within three months of receiving the notice.
During her 22-year career, she was registered with ING Financial Partners, Forum Fund Services, PFPC Distributors, New England Securities, and Jackson National Financial Services, and held FINRA Series 6, 7, 24, 26, 63, and 66 licenses.