The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Scott Allen Fries, a former Ohio-based registered representative and investment adviser representative, with allegedly defrauding at least seven investors out of at least $178,000.
Fries spent four years at Transamerica Financial Advisors and five years at NYLife Securities. According to his BrokerCheck profile, he was fired from Transamerica in July 2019 for allegedly accepting funds to invest in securities products away from the firm. He was barred by FINRA months later for failing to respond to their requests for information.
According to the SEC’s complaint, Fries purportedly recommended that certain individuals, including several of his brokerage customers and their relatives, provide him funds to invest outside of his relationship with the registered broker-dealer and investment adviser.
Between January 2016 and March 2019, the SEC claims that at least seven investors gave Fries checks totaling approximately $178,000, which he deposited into his personal bank accounts. Within days of receiving the money, the SEC said that he began paying his own expenses — such as mortgage payments, payday loans and credit card bills.
The SEC also alleges that he created fake account statements, lied to his employer, and used a Ponzi-like scheme to repay a couple who demanded return of their investment funds.
The SEC’s complaint charges Fries with violating the antifraud provisions of various federal securities laws, and seeks a permanent injunction, disgorgement with prejudgment interest, and a civil penalty.