Michigan Investment Adviser Convicted of Embezzlement from Retirement Plan

May 4, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Anthony A. James has been convicted of seven counts of mail fraud, six counts of wire fraud, and one count of embezzlement from an employee benefit plan.

An announcement from the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan said the indictment charged that from 2001 through June 2009, James received over $5,300,000 from over 40 investors, most of whom resided in Illinois, Florida, and Michigan. Among the investors, were the owners and employees of Advocate in Manpower Management, Inc., of Boca Raton, Florida, who wired money to James for investment in the AIMM, Inc., Simple Individual Retirement Account Plan.   

According to the announcement, James represented to investors and pension plan participants that he would place their money in investments, including securities, bonds, and mutual funds for their benefit, but instead used the money for his own personal use which included purchasing two residences, buying several cars, and paying his living expenses. He spent approximately $2,500,000 of victim investor money for his own personal use and approximately $2,800,000 of victim investor money to pay back other prior investors, a manner characteristic of a “Ponzi scheme.”  

Mail and wire fraud carry a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. Theft or embezzlement from an employee benefit plan carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.  

A sentencing date for James has been set for August 17.