Robert G. Bard, 47, of Warfordsburg, Pa., was convicted of 21 counts of securities fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, and making false statements after a seven-day jury trial in August 2013.
Evidence at the trial proved Bard was a registered investment advisor and was the owner and operator of Vision Specialist Group (VSG) between December 2004 and August 2009.
The jury convicted Bard of defrauding numerous investors by, among other things, misrepresenting the value and make-up of their investment portfolios, officials say.
Bard executed the scheme by creating phony account statements which significantly inflated the value of the investors' accounts and included securities that were not owned by the investor.
Bard created the phony account statements to conceal over $5.8 million in losses his clients sustained between 2006 and 2009 as a result of risky and speculative stocks he purchased on their behalf.
Bard also failed to inform his clients that he was terminated from his prior employment as a stock broker for forging customer signatures on fiananical documents, had received a lifetime ban from the National Association of Securities Dealers, and had declared personal bankruptcy in 2005, officials say.
In handing down Bard's sentence, Judge Rambo stated, "Bard's actions had a devastating impact on his victims and the lengthy sentenced was appropriate under the circumstances."
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