INVESTMENT FIRM PRESIDENT SENTENCED TO 52 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR SECURITIES FRAUD
NEIL T. ADKINS, 47, of Redmond, Washington, was sentenced to 52 months in prison and three years of supervised release for nineteen counts of securities fraud. In addition he was ordered to pay $1,430,642 in restitution to his victims. In sentencing ADKINS, United States District Court Judge Franklin D. Burgess noted that many of those who invested with ADKINS considered him not only an investment advisor but a friend as well. "I don't know what could be worse than stealing from a friend," said Judge Burgess. "These people will never recover."
ADKINS was the owner and president of Senior Estate Planning Group, a retirement planning and consulting business, which typically marketed investments, such as annuities, to elderly individuals. ADKINS also was the owner of three other businesses, American National Safety and Research Safety Industries, which were involved in installing and monitoring burglar alarms, and Executive Search, Inc., an executive recruiting firm. In order to finance these three businesses, ADKINS contacted Senior Estate Planning Group clients soliciting them to invest in securities, in the form of bonds, issued by the businesses. ADKINS failed to disclose to purchasers material facts relating to the safety of the bonds, including that (1) the businesses were failing or had previously been closed; (2) he had failed and was failing in similar ventures; (3) he had failed to obtain an exemption by the State of Washington for one offering of bonds; (4) the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions had issued a Cease and Desist Order on March 14, 2000, ordering him stop selling the bonds.
ADKINS also used funds from investors for other purposes, such as for his own personal use and benefit, and for paying other investors who demanded interest payments or the return of principal, in the fashion of a "Ponzi" scheme. During the course of the scheme, the elderly victims invested in excess of Seven Hundred Thousand Dollars ($700,000) in such bonds.
The 52 month sentence takes into account that prosecutors in King, Kitsap, Lewis, Pacific, Pierce, Skagit, Snohomish, and Whatcom Counties have agreed not to pursue state charges against ADKINS.
This case was investigated by the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions, Securities Division, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Arlen Storm prosecuted the case.
For further information, please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington at (206) 553-4110.