A federal prosecutor in Tennessee has filed charges against a former Raymond James broker for allegedly stealing nearly $1 million from elderly clients.
In a case filed on June 11 in a Nashville federal court, the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee charged Frederick M. Stow with three counts of wire fraud, one count of identity theft and one count of securities fraud.
Stow, a former vice president for the Raymond James office in Franklin, Tenn., allegedly stole $943,500 from individual retirement accounts and other accounts of two senior clients between October 2015 through May 2019.
Stow was fired by Raymond James in 2019 and was barred from the industry by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. in January, according to his BrokerCheck profile.
In a parallel civil complaint filed the Securities and Exchange Commission, the agency alleged that Stow sold securities from the account of a World War II veteran who was not named, referred to only as “Customer A,” without his knowledge or consent.
Stow forged wire transfers and deposited the money in his own account on 74 occasions, the SEC said. The customer, a retired airline pilot, was first solicited by Stow in 1982, according to the complaint.
A little more than a year after the death of “Customer A” at 98, Stow began stealing funds from “Customer B,” another elderly investor, the SEC alleged. Stow stole a total of $911,500 from Customer A and $32,000 from Customer B, according to the regulator.
“Far too often, veterans and seniors who depend on their investments for retirement income are targeted by fraudulent schemes,” Justin Jeffries, associate regional director of the SEC’s Atlanta regional office, said in a statement. “As alleged in our complaint, Stow took advantage of these seniors, abusing his access to their brokerage accounts to generate income for himself.”
The SEC said it is seeking injunctive relief, the return of ill-gotten gains and a civil monetary penalty.
“Mr. Stow has been fully cooperating with both the SEC’s and [Department of Justice’s] investigations and looks forward to resolving those matters,” his attorney, Ty E. Howard, a partner at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, wrote in an email.