Federal courthouse
Federal courthouse in downtown San Diego. Photo by Chris Stone

The Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday sued a Carlsbad-based investment adviser and his company for allegedly swindling clients out of more than $2.2 million.

Mark J. Boucher, 56, made unauthorized transfers from client accounts to his own accounts, used client funds to pay his credit card bills, and forged a client’s signature on checks from 2010 to earlier this year, according to the complaint filed in San Diego federal court.

The SEC further alleges that Boucher used a significant portion of the stolen funds to pay for his extravagant personal expenses, including vacations and travel.

In one instance, Boucher allegedly misappropriated funds from a client to purchase a Chevrolet Camaro, and then, over a year later, sold the car to the client. According to the suit, Boucher also attempted to conceal the swindle by forging a letter, purportedly from a client from whom Boucher took over $1.5 million in trust funds, in an attempt to convince SEC staff that the client had gifted him the money a few days before she died.

The SEC’s complaint charges Boucher and his company Strategic Wealth Advisor Group Services Inc. with violating anti-fraud law. The SEC seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement plus prejudgment interest, and civil penalties.

— City News Service