Former Kirkland broker from Bellevue sentenced for defrauding investors of $7 million
By MATT PHELPS
Kirkland Reporter Regional Assistant Editor
April 13, 2012 · 4:38 PM
A former Kirkland securities broker and Bellevue resident was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison Friday for defrauding investors of $7 million, including friends and family members.
Richard A. Finger, Jr., 32, pleaded guilty to federal wire-fraud charges in November 2011.
U.S. District Judge Ricardo Martinez also ordered Finger to serve an additional three years of supervised release and pay restitution of more than $7 million.
Finger is currently free and will be assigned to prison within four-to-six weeks, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The charge could have resulted in a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Prosecutors asked for a six-and-a-half year prison sentence. A civil lawsuit, filed by the federal Securities and Exchange Commission, is still pending.
Finger, who operated Black Diamond Securities LLC at 516 Sixth St. S. in Kirkland, used customers’ brokerage accounts for personal gain and issued false account statements. He also forged customer letters to indicate that they had approved trades. The moves lost millions of dollars for clients while Finger collected high commissions.
In one instance, Finger told a client their account was at $1.2 million when in actuality it only had $550,000.
One client invested $1 million in Black Diamond Securities and Black Diamond Capital Management in June 2011. Out of the $5 million invested since February 2011 only $500,000 remained in accounts.
“Finger’s activity, while disastrous for his customers, helped fund his lifestyle,” said SEC charging documents.
Much of the money that Finger made went to fund a $2 million home, pay personal credit cards and over $84,000 for a Cadillac Escalade and a Ducati motorcycle, the SEC investigation revealed.
Contact Kirkland Reporter Regional Assistant Editor Matt Phelps at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-822-9166 ext. 5052.