October 20, 2020
Scott Fries, a former registered representative associated with Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc. in Cincinnati, Ohio, was recently charged with defrauding at least seven investors out of more than $178,000 a recent Complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The Complaint, which was filed in the Southern District of Ohio, states that between January 2016 and March 2019, Fries raised at least $178,000 from at least seven investors, including some of his brokerage clients and their relatives, purportedly for investment purposes outside of his relationship with Transamerica. Instead, Fries used the funds for personal use and attempted to cover the fraudulent activities by creating false account statements that showed profitable investments in mutual funds. Fries even paid off a couple in a Ponzi-like scheme who discovered that their account statements were fake and lied to Transamerica about the funds he had received from this couple.
Based on the foregoing, Scott Fries violated provisions of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The SEC requests in the Complaint that the Court issue findings and fact and conclusions of law that Fries committed the alleged violations. The SEC seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains with prejudgment interest, and civil penalties. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority barred Fries from associating with member firms in August 2019 when he refused to cooperate with requests for information about his termination from Transamerica.