Larry Werbel was indicted this week on charges that he participated in a scheme to defraud at least 100 investors of more than $15 million, federal prosecutors said. If you believe you may have been a victim of Werbel please call toll-free 1-866-817-0201.
Werbel, owner of Evolution Partners Wealth Management, and formerly of Summit Brokerage and LPL Financial was one of several brokers who recruited investors for shares of a shell company called VgTel Inc., with the false representation of high dividends, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. In reality, the shares were being sold and bought by shell companies that the accused schemers owned in an effort to artificially inflate the price, the release states.
Prosecutors say of the $15 million invested, more than $9 million went into the pockets of Werbel and others involved in the scheme. Werbel found investors and pushed them to buy $3 million in shares for VgTel, prosecutors claim. In return, he received more than $300,000 in illegal payments.
The FBI arrested Werbel, 67, at his home in Solon, Ohio on Wednesday, January 6, 2016. He was released after appearing in front of Magistrate Judge Greg White in Cleveland. His bond is set at $100,000.
He is charged with conspiracy to commit securities fraud, securities fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, investment adviser fraud and making false statements to federal officers.