Financial Advisor Pleads Guilty to Fraud Charges
Memphis, TN – Stephen Douglas Fry, 72, a Memphis-area financial advisor, pled guilty to a three-count information charging him with mail and wire fraud and interstate transportation of monies taken by fraud, U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant for the Western District of Tennessee announced today.
According to the information, Fry was an accountant and financial advisor doing business in Germantown, TN as Fry Financial Services. Count one of the information alleged that between 2009 and 2019, Fry stole and embezzled funds from a client who had given him power of attorney to prepare tax returns and manage and invest monies following the death of her husband. The information alleged that Fry obtained in excess of $1.3 million from the client as a result of the scheme.
Count two of the information alleged that after Fry was served with a civil suit and notice of lien filed in Shelby County Chancery Court on behalf of the client, he defrauded a mortgage lender, title company and closing agent in connection with the sale of his personal residence. The information alleged that Fry falsely represented on an Owner’s Affidavit that there was no pending litigation or liens affecting the property being sold. As a result of the misrepresentation Fry caused the disbursement of $325,827.84 in loan proceeds.
Count three of the information alleged Fry defrauded another client located in Mississippi of $410,000 by requesting a loan and falsely representing that the funds were going to be used to purchase and resell an accounting firm. In fact, Fry used the funds to replace funds he embezzled from an estate of which he was the named executor.
U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said, "Financial fraud can happen anywhere, and can be devastating to lending institutions and individual investors. The defendant used his position of trust and authority to steal proceeds for his personal benefit, and his dishonesty has been exposed. We are pleased that justice has been achieved on behalf of the victims, and we commend the FBI for their outstanding investigation in this disturbing case. Wherever fraud occurs in the Western District of Tennessee, this office will be prepared to hold offenders accountable."
The sentencing hearing is set for Thursday, March 5, 2020, before U.S. District Court Judge John T. Fowlkes Jr.
Fry faces up to 60 years imprisonment, fines of up to $1,500,000 and five years supervised release.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Carroll L. André III is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.