Gansler fights securities fraud in criminal, civil courts
BALTIMORE (Legal Newsline) - Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler's criminal and civil cases against a financial group have succeeded, and investors will get more than $2 million back.
Kevin Forrester of Forrester Financial Group will also spend several years in prison. He pleaded guilty in May to fraudulent securities practice and felony theft over allegations that he stole more than $2.2 million from 21 investors.
"The Securities Division was able to put an immediate stop to Forrester's fraudulent activities within days of its March 2007 examination of his broker-dealer and investment advisory business, and the Criminal Division acted swiftly to file the appropriate criminal charges against Forrester," Gansler said Friday.
Forrester was ordered to sell personal assets totaling $157,048 as a result of the civil cases. An additional $1,851,347.22 from Forrester's broker-dealers was secured.
Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Robert Cahill sentenced Forrester to a maximum 15 years, plus a five-year suspended sentence. He also sentenced Forrester to a three-year concurrent sentence, and five years of probation when he gets out.
Gansler said his investigation showed that Forrester told investors he was placing their money in a high-interest short-term investment fund, but was actually using the money to finance his business and to purchase and furnish a $1.2 million home.
"Even when an investment program looks reasonable, and friends and family trust the promoter, it's better to take a few minutes to verify the status of the promoters," Gansler said.
From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.