CARMEL, Ind. — A former Carmel-based financial advisor has pleaded guilty to embezzling millions of dollars from a client and using the money to bet on sports and pay down a personal loan.
Christopher Turean of Fishers pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of wire fraud and one count of filing a false tax return. As part of the plea agreement, Turean agreed to pay $4,692,500 in restitution to the victim along with paying an additional $1,725,246 in restitution to the IRS.
The wire fraud charge carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years. A sentencing date has not yet been set by the court.
Turean worked as a certified financial planner at Valeo Financial Advisors in Carmel from September 2012 until February 2022, according to court documents and filing information listed by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
According to court documents, Turean began transferring money out of his client’s investment account in July 2019. Turean set up a LLC called “SCNT LLC” and transferred his client’s money into a bank account under the fraudulent business’s name. Turean then would transfer money from the SCNT account into his own personal bank account where he’d use the money to pay off his own debts.
Court documents reveal that Turean “frequently” used his client’s money to gamble on sports betting sites such as DraftKings and FanDuel. Turean also put more than $1 million of his client’s money toward a home equity line of credit tied to his personal residence.
The victim, meanwhile, was led to believe by Turean that the money was being invested in real estate. Turean also concealed the embezzlement from Valeo Finacial Advisors, according to the court documents.
In total, Turean embezzled approximately $4,692,5000 out of his client’s investment account. None of the money was used for investment with all the money being spent on personal expenses.
According to the documents, the fraudulent transfers from the victim’s account occurred for nearly two years.
Turean also falsely reported his taxable income, leading to his charge of filing a false tax return.