United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington
Kirkland, Washington Stock Broker Charged with Wire Fraud
Defendant Sent Phony Statements to Clients Hiding Significant Losses and Commissions
RICHARD A. FINGER, JR., 32, a resident of Bellevue, Washington, was charged this afternoon with wire fraud. FINGER owned and operated Black Diamond Capital Management, LLC and Black Diamond Securities, LLC of Kirkland, Washington. According to the criminal complaint, FINGER defrauded more than ten clients of millions of dollars. FINGER appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary Alice Theiler this afternoon and was advised of the charge and potential penalty of up to 20 years in prison.
According to the criminal complaint, some of the victims invested with FINGER when he was working for a Seattle brokerage firm. In one instance described in the complaint, the victim placed nearly $700,000 with FINGER for investments. From the fall of 2009 through 2010, FINGER assured the client the investments were growing steadily, when in fact the account was sustaining significant losses. When FINGER moved from the Seattle brokerage firm to his own firm, he provided the client with phony statements showing his account was worth more than $1.2 million – in fact, at that time the account was worth less than $5,500. In addition to the trading losses, FINGER allegedly took significant commissions from ten accounts and used them for his own benefit.
A second client invested $1 million with FINGER and was provided statements by email. In late August 2011, FINGER admitted to the client that he had suffered losses in the account of more than $800,000. The complaint alleges that FINGER transferred hundreds of thousands of dollars from the brokerage accounts to his own personal checking account as large commissions to pay for his own credit card bills, food and entertainment as well as business expenses such as payroll, fees and taxes.
The charges contained in the complaint are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The case is being investigated by the Kirkland Police Department and the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Justin Arnold. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is also pursuing civil penalties.