Adviser To Plead Guilty To $21M Ponzi Scheme

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Adviser To Plead Guilty To $21M Ponzi Scheme

Patrick E. Churchville, an investment adviser from Rhode Island, is expected to plead guilty to criminal charges for running a $21 million Ponzi scheme, according to a statement made by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. In addition, Churchville used $2.5 million of his clients’ cash to buy a house, and he failed to pay over $820,000 in personal federal income taxes,  the statement alleges.

Churchville is the owner and president of ClearPath Wealth Management. According to the statement, he will plead guilty to five counts of wire fraud and one count of tax fraud.

Churchville is also the subject of a civil lawsuit brought by the SEC in May 2015.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office alleges that from 2008 to 2011, Churchville invested about $18 million of client funds in JER Receivables, despite the fact that he learned in June 2010 that ClearPath had been defrauded by the company. Rather than alerting his clientele of the situation, he paid them with money taken from subsequent investors, misappropriating about $21 million of his clients’ funds in the scheme. The statement also alleges Churchville told his clients that JER Receivables was producing high rates of return.

According to the statement, Churchville bought a home in Barrington, Rhode Island with $2.5 million of his clients’ cash without their knowledge. He then never reported that amount as income on his personal tax returns, causing a loss to the IRS of $820,528.

“Mr. Churchville, motivated by greed and a desire to live an outlandishly expensive lifestyle, used sleight of hand to swindle dozens of investors out of funds they had properly earned, giving false assurances all along the way,” said U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha. “Rather than act in the interest of his clients, he acted only in his own.”

If you or someone you know has lost money as a result of an investment or Ponzi scheme, please contact Richard Frankowski at 888-741-7503 to discuss your potential legal remedies or complete the contact form.

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