A San Fernando Valley-based investment advisor was sentenced to two years in federal prison for his role in an investment scheme in which he stole profits from trades executed on his clients’ behalf, depriving them of more than $900,000.
Philip D. Horn, 51, of Tarzana, was sentenced Tuesday by United States District Judge Gary A. Feess. During today’s hearing, Judge Feess noted that Horn had already paid more than $1m in restitution.
Horn, a former managing director at the Westwood Village branch office of Wells Fargo Advisors and formerly a licensed securities broker, pleaded guilty in September 2012 to two counts of wire fraud. Horn specifically admitted that he engaged in a scheme in which he obtained more than $730,000 through a series of trades that were initially executed in the accounts of clients that he managed and, if the trades proved to be profitable, were fraudulently “corrected” to remove the trades from the clients’ accounts and 're-billed' to Horn’s own accounts.
Further review of Horn’s activities by forensic accountants retained by Wells Fargo Advisors to investigate the full extent of Horn’s activities showed other types of fraudulent 'correction' orders, including transferring unprofitable trades in his own account to the accounts of WFA customers. Horn executed the fraudulent orders between April 2009 and October 2011, when he was terminated by Wells Fargo Advisors.
Wells Fargo Advisors undertook a forensic analysis of all accounts impacted by Horn’s scheme and, according to court filings, has repaid money improperly taken from customer accounts.
Horn was ordered to begin serving his prison sentence on April 12.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.