Former Ameriprise financial advisor Susan Walker has admitted that she used $980,000 of client assets to pay for personal expenses, including vacations and private school tuition. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota, Walker pleaded guilty to defrauding 24 clients between 2008 and 2013. Walker worked out of an Ameriprise office located in Wayzata, Minnesota from October 2008 through March 2013, when she was terminated. Theft from client accounts is one of the worst forms of stock broker fraud and is, essentially, indefensible.
According to the U.S. attorney’s statement, Ms. Walker opened investment accounts in her own name and in the names of several clients without their permission. She then withdrew money from clients’ accounts, deposited it into those accounts she controlled, and then withdrew the money for her own use. In July 2013, FINRA barred Walker from the brokerage industry.
Investors who have been victimized by Walker or any other broker or financial advisor should contact a securities lawyer to discuss their rights.