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Press Release

Grand Marais Investment Advisor Sentenced To 60 Months In Prison For $5.7 Million Fraud Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Minnesota

United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger today announced the sentencing of MICHAEL ROBERT DRILLING, 47, to 60 months in federal prison for devising and executing a multi- million dollar investment fraud scheme. DRILLING pleaded guilty on April 17, 2014, to one count of securities fraud. He was sentenced on December 10, 2014, before Judge Ann D. Montgomery in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis.

According to the defendant’s guilty plea and documents filed in court, from May 2009 through March 2014, DRILLING, defrauded 13 investment advisory clients for more than $5.7 million. Through his company, Financial Advisory Partners LLC, DRILLING developed personal relationships with these clients and convinced them to entrust to him the management of their investment funds. In order to conceal the theft, DRILLING created phony accounts for each of his clients using a financial planning website,, that made it appear as if investment funds had been placed in real investment vehicles.

In total, DRILLING stole more than $5.7 million in investment funds from thirteen of his clients. He lied to his clients, telling them that their money was placed in a larger pool of funds that could be managed more efficiently. Instead, DRILLING used the stolen funds for his own personal and business expenses. DRILLING also lost millions of dollars at casinos.

This case resulted from an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy C. Rank.

Defendant Information:

Grand Marais, Minn.

• Securities Fraud, 1 count

• 60 months in prison
• Restitution in the amount of $5,778,877.88



Updated April 30, 2015