Bernard M. Parker of Indiana, Pennsylvania is charged with defrauding twenty-two investors out of $1.2 million and using the cash to pay his mortgage, debit card purchases, and other personal expenses. Parker, who operated Parker Financial Services from his home, was indicted under seal on counts of securities and mail fraud. The case was then unsealed, and the SEC filed a related suit against Parker.

FINRA records show that Parker is a former Edward Jones employee.

Agents with the FBI, IRS and U.S. Postal Inspection Service said that from 2008 through 2014, Mr. Parker enticed customers to enter into “Investor Contracts” involving the purchase of tax lien certificates for properties in Florida, Colorado and Arizona that would earn returns of 6% to 9% annually, as well as other investments that were not registered by the state or the SEC.

Parker told investors that their money invested in his contracts would be used for legitimate investments but then diverted hundreds of thousands of dollars for his own use, according to the indictment.

In addition to paying his mortgage, the SEC claims he used the money to pay his father-in-law’s medical bills, remodel his house, pay off his car and make interest payments to earlier investors to keep his scheme from being discovered.

Of the $1.2 million Parker raised, the SEC said, he withdrew more than $650,000 in cash from teller transactions, ATM withdrawals, and checks cashed at local supermarkets. He additionally spent approximately $197,000 of investor money in point-of-sale transactions, $150,000 through personal checks, and $169,000 for online bill payments.

Mr. Parker admitted his conduct when confronted by law enforcement last November, according to the SEC.

If you or someone you know has lost money as a result of an investment or Ponzi scheme, please contact Richard Frankowski at 888-741-7503 to discuss your potential legal remedies or complete the contact form.