CHICAGO — A financial advisor who told clients they were guaranteed to make money by investing with him has been sentenced to more than 13 years in federal prison for defrauding those clients out of $5.1 million.
DARAYL DAVIS falsely represented to clients that they would receive fixed annual interest payments and guaranteed protection against losses if they invested with his firms – Washington, D.C.-based Financial Assurance Corp. and Los Angeles, Calif.-based Affluent Advisory Group LLC. Davis claimed that some of the investments would be backed by a well-known multinational life insurance company. In reality, Davis did not invest the funds as promised, and none of the purported investments had any affiliation with the life insurance company.
Davis instead spent the money for his own personal benefit, including rent for an eight-bedroom mansion in Los Angeles, airline tickets, luxury hotels, car rentals, a club membership, theater tickets, and other items. Davis often attempted to conceal the scam by using funds from some investors to make Ponzi-type payments to other investors.
The alleged fraud scheme lasted from at least 2003 to 2018. In all, Davis defrauded more than 25 victims out of more than $5.1 million. Many of the victims were retirees who gave Davis all of their savings.
Davis, 48, of Chicago, and formerly of Bowie, Md., pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of mail fraud. U.S. District Judge Robert W. Gettleman on Monday imposed a 160-month prison sentence.
The sentence was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which filed a civil complaint against Davis.
“Davis targeted his victims personally, seeking out fellow church members, individuals who had previously purchased legitimate investment products from him, or ‘friends’ to whom he offered the ‘favor’ of an inside investment opportunity,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher Catizone and Philip N. Fluhr argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum. “Davis knew these people trusted him and deliberately exploited that trust.”
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