Utah Financial Advisor Hits Federal Sentencing Guideline Jackpot

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If you wish to live like a lottery winner, you can take your roughly one in 175 million chance on Wednesday. Alternately, you can go into financial advisory, with much shorter odds of a very long prison sentence.

An Idaho financial adviser who publicly portrayed himself as advocate for transparency in retirement plans but privately spent investors’ money “like he was a lottery winner” learned just how tough the federal sentencing guidelines can be last week.

Matthew D. Hutcheson, a former trustee for a Utah pension plan and administrator for an Idaho 401(k) plan was sentenced to 17 years in prison on Wednesday— the low end of his guidelines range….

Mr. Hutcheson allegedly used investor funds to carry out extensive renovations at his Idaho home, including building a 4,100 square-foot barn with a loft apartment and office, adding a swimming pool and hot tub and building a secondary garage and a dog house, prosecutors said.

He also purchased a Land Rover SUV for his wife, a BMW 3-series convertible for himself, a John Deere tractor and four ATVs for his family, prosecutors said. The ATVs were adorned with red bows and given as a surprise Christmas gift, prosecutors said.

Mr. Hutcheson also allegedly used nearly $3.3 million in retirement funds to purchase a ski and golf resort in Donnelly, Idaho, through a company he controlled, prosecutors said. One witness said Mr. Hutcheson spent money “like he was a lottery winner,” according to federal prosecutors in Idaho.

Adviser Who Spent Funds Like 'Lottery Winner' Gets 17 Years [WSJ Law Blog]

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Financial Advisor Facing Some Legal Troubles

1. A class-action lawsuit by investors. 2. Murder via bomb charges. Brian Malley, 55, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Victoria Shachtay, a disabled mother who died in November 2011 when an explosive package was delivered to her home in Innisfail, Alta. Malley, who worked for Assante Wealth Management, is accused of sending that package. Malley now faces allegations he lost an estimated $50 million for dozens of clients. The claims are contained in a lawsuit filed this week in Red Deer Court of Queen's Bench. "This was their retirement savings," said Rob Armstrong, one of lawyers behind the lawsuit. "The allegations are that Mr. Malley was placing them in very speculative and high risk investments and losing money." The statement of claim suggests Malley's conduct was "high-handed, malicious and highly reprehensible." The document further alleges that Malley "acted in his own best interests which were in conflict with the interests of his client class members." The lawsuit claims that Malley invested in equities that were riskier than what his clients may have wanted and made frequent trades within a short time-frame to earn more commissions. $80M lawsuit filed against financial advisor accused of murder [CBC]