Former Hamilton financial adviser pleads guilty to fraud
Scott Reeves, 43, should expect a prison sentence of more than two years, a Crown prosecutor says. - Hamilton Spectator file photo
Former Hamilton financial adviser Scott Reeves has pleaded guilty to defrauding clients — including a longtime friend — of $3.1 million.
Reeves, who operated through Reeves Financial Services Inc. and three other companies, pleaded guilty to fraud last Wednesday in the midst of his trial. The fraud was perpetrated between Jan. 1, 2002 and June 30, 2014.
Assistant Crown attorney James Vincelli told the court that Reeves is 43, a longtime resident of Hamilton, and has provided a broad range of financial services to clients in the city and area for 25 years.
His victims include a professional dog groomer, a doctor who is also a longtime friend, a family friend of 20 years, and even one of Reeves' family members. The victims range in age from 24 to 65 — two of whom "were left destitute" after investing their money with Reeves for their retirement, Vincelli said.
Reeves used the money they invested with him for his personal use or to cover his business expenses, Vincelli added.
The victims invested their money with Reeves in mutual funds, but then on his advice, transferred them through him to Guaranteed Income Certificates at credit unions or banks — or so they thought.
Some, when they became suspicious, contacted the credit union or bank where their GICs were supposed to be invested, only to learn the institutions had no record of them.
Two cases involved inheritance money the victims wanted invested for their future.
Vincelli said the doctor "believed his money was properly invested for future financial security. Instead, Scott Reeves took advantage of his friend, taking his money and using it to pay for his business and personal expenses."
The dog groomer "gave Scott Reeves her life savings and trusted him to invest money in low-risk investments so she would have money in her retirement," Vincelli said.
Reeves is looking at a penitentiary sentence of more than two years, Vincelli said.
Defence lawyer Karen McCarthur surprised the court — and the victims attending it — by asking for a six-month reprieve before Reeves must return to court for sentencing because he is in an intense program dealing with his mental health.
Justice Andrew Goodman ruled Reeves must return to court on Jan. 18 so he and his lawyer can give the court an update on the program and possibly set a date for sentencing.
Reeves operated through at least four companies; Reeves Group Solutions Ltd., Reeves Portfolio Management Inc., Reeves Private Wealth Inc., and Reeves Financial Services Inc.
Reeves Financial Services was forced into bankruptcy in June 2014. Bankruptcy documents showed reported debts of almost $418,000 and assets of only $27,000.
Reeves initially faced 14 charges related to cheating clients of more than $5 million. Those charges included uttering forged documents, fraud, theft over $5,000 and laundering the proceeds of crime.
Article From:- https://www.thespec.com