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You may have lost money in your investment portfolio,
due to mismanagement and not even know it.

Securities fraud scammer receives harsh sentencing outcome

Clearly, no spa visit is worth a decades-long prison term.

A one-time professional football player and ex-adviser with a major brokerage firm will now have 40 years in a federal penitentiary to think back on the scores of victims he defrauded over a multi-year period.

Reportedly, one-time NFL player Merrill Robertson Jr. made a sales pitch to clients that is time-honored in the scamming world. He routinely promised them returns of up to 20% on money handed over to him. And he guaranteed the safety of their investments.

Of course, such a result is flat-out nonexistent in the investment world, and the approximately 60 investors who succumbed to Robertson's spiel collectively lost about $10 million.

In addition to being spent at the aforementioned spas, much of that money was used by Robertson and a co-conspirator to fund vacations and pay for pricey automobiles.

Robertson employed a common tactic used by securities scammers to gain ready access to victims, namely, pushing perceived bona fides that would induce them to open their wallets. In his case, that was athletic fame and his past affiliation with the global investment firm Merrill Lynch as a broker.

Robertson's sentence was imposed last month by a federal judge considering multiple criminal counts of bank fraud, money laundering, wire fraud and mail fraud.

In addition to the criminal case, a civil complaint lodged against Robertson last year by the SEC remains ongoing. Regulators state in their filing that Robertson used his clients over the years as a "personal piggy bank."

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