Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Scam Artist Guilty of Defrauding Seniors

A self-proclaimed "elder adviser" plead guilty to defrauding senior citizens, court orders restitution.

The Texas State Securities Board continues to investigate and prosecute cases of securities, investment, and banking fraud. In their latest case, Richard Dwayne Hicks plead guilty to the first degree felony of selling fraudulent securities.

On Sept. 26, 2013, Hicks was indicted  by a Grand Jury on 11 possible counts of securities fraud. The total amount stolen from the 11 victims named in the indictment was over $2,854,500.00. The amount scammed ranged from $25k to $500k. Hicks had allegedly sold forged promissory notes for the National Note of Utah, LLC.

The indictment also noted several tax liens against Richard and Rebecca Hicks between 1997 and 2009. In 2001, Richard and Rebecca Hicks allegedly, along with Elder Advisory Services (EAS) had a judgement against them forbidding them from taking any legal status in regards to citizens, including banning them from enjoining into any powers of attorney or advising in any Medicaid, Social Security, or Health and Human Services matters. When doing so, Hicks was practicing law without a license, causing the Texas Supreme Court to ban Hicks from those activities. 

In 2011, Hicks failed to notify his "clients" of the tax liens and previous judgements. He also posed as a currently licensed and certified securities broker. When he collected the funds on promises of guaranteed 12% interest payments on the promissory notes from National Note of Utah, LLC, he committed the first degree felony.

The US Security and Exchange Commission also took administrative actions regarding Richard and Rebecca Hicks and their company, EAS, in Aug. 2013.

The plea agreement granted Hicks a 10 year deferred sentence and to pay restitution of over $240,000 to 10 of his victims. Effectively, Hicks is on 10 years probation during which time any further infractions could lead to incarceration to be determined in that event.