Ronald T. Molo, an investment advisor of 20 years standing with Edward Jones, has been charged by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) for fraud. According to the SEC complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, between January 2019 and November 2020, Molo siphoned out $800K from the account of three customers. It charges Molo with violating various federal securities laws and seeks prejudgment interest, disgorgement, injunctive relief, as well as civil penalties.
The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Ronald T. Molo (an ex-investment professional) with defrauding three people out of $800,000. Molo used this money to pay his personal expenses.
According to the SEC, Molo was previously an investment advisor representative and registered broker-dealer rep for a large financial service firm. Molo robbed three investors of $800,000. Two of them were his clients as investment advisors, and one was his customer as a broker. The complaint alleges that Molo persuaded the investors to transfer money from their brokerage and advisory accounts to another account to invest in tax-free bonds.
The bonds didn’t exist and Molo didn’t tell investors that the account to whom he directed them to transfer the money was his personal account. Molo instead of investing the money in it, he used it to pay his personal expenses such as mortgage payments and automobile purchases. According to the complaint, Molo attempted to conceal his fraud by using funds from his personal bank account to send the investors false interest payments.
The transfer of funds from customer accounts was purportedly made for the purpose of purchasing tax-free bonds for them. However, where the money actually went was Molo’s personal account, which, of course, he did not share with the customers. The customers never got the bonds, even if such bonds existed.
To continue the charade, Molo even made “interest payments to the customers, for which purpose he made alterations in cashier’s checks issued from funds in his account to make them seem like interest payments.
The customer funds were misused by Molo for meeting personal expenses like home renovations, car purchases, and mortgage payments.
As per his BrokerCheck profile, his 20-year career with Edward Jones came to an end as he was fired by the firm for similar reasons as are found in the SEC complaint. His failure to respond to requests for information also earned him a suspension by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) around the end of October.
In a parallel action, criminal charges have been filed against Molo by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois.