LPL Broker James Couture, Accused of $3M Fraud, Rejects Plea Deal

LPL Broker James Couture, Accused of $3M Fraud, Rejects Plea Deal

James Couture I was registered with the Registrar of Brokers LPL Financial At the time, he was accused by customers of stealing $3 million. After he refused to accept the plea agreement related to criminal charges, he subsequently was arrested in July of 2021. After refusing the plea deal, he has been released from jail without posting a bond. After he informed the grand jury of his decision to reject the deal, a criminal count was added.

Since then, he has been fired from LPL Financial. Couture also ran the Private Wealth Management Group As an investment advisor based in Massachusetts, as well Legacy Financial GroupShell company. Accepting the plea agreement would have resulted in forfeiture of $2.9 million of customer funds and $1.9 million of restitution, as well as a prison term of up 91 months.

LPL Broker James Couture, Accused of $3M Fraud, Rejects Plea Deal
LPL broker James Couture, accused of $3M fraud, rejects plea deal

BrokerCheck’s record for Couture

Couture also has some other disclosures in his record, mostly recent ones and relating to this case:

June 2020 – Noting of the firing by LPL Financial for alleged customer frauds.

October 2020 – Misrepresentation alleged by a customer, that was denied.

October 2020 – Barring by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in the wake of his firing by LPL Financial.

June 2021 – A customer claim of $385,000 that appears to be related to the ongoing SEC charges and criminal cases.

He has worked in the industry for more than 18 years. During that time, he worked for Lincoln Financial Securities as well as New England Securities and Morgan Stanley DW.

Charges Against Couture

The prosecution has alleged that Couture used millions of dollars in customer accounts to fund the fake returns in other accounts. He used some of the funds to buy a list of clients from another adviser. These transactions are from 2009 to 2019.

The Securities Exchange Commission has also filed civil cases that claim that he induced customers to sell their investments on false assurances that the transferred amounts of money would be reinvested under their names.

The typical Ponzi Each time a customer wanted to withdraw funds, the money from another client would be used.

Broker-dealers are responsible for their actions

The broker-dealers with whom a financial adviser is registered are responsible for overseeing their activities. In the event of losses due to broker misconduct, fraud or negligence, they may be exposed to claims from customers.

Investor advice

If you are a customer of Couture or LPL Financial If you believe that you may have been the victim of fraud or misconduct by someone, FINRA offers an arbitration process whereby a claim against the suspected perpetrators can be made. This is best done with an experienced securities lawyer representing you.

The broker misconduct lawyers at Haselkorn & Thibaut (InvestmentFraudLawyers.com) are already speaking with several such customers that have experienced broker misconduct. For a no-obligation case consultation, you can call Haselkorn & Thibaut at  1-800-856-3352.

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