Indiana Financial Adviser Siphoned $4.6M for Sports Betting, Expenses

Posted on: November 23, 2023, 07:22h. 

Last updated on: November 24, 2023, 11:23h.

A rogue financial adviser from Indianapolis looted a client’s investment account of $4.6 million and splurged on sports betting, according to prosecutors. He pleaded guilty this week to a count each of wire fraud and tax fraud.

Christopher Turean, Valeo Financial Advisors, DraftKings, FanDuel
Christopher Turean, pictured above in promotional literature for Valeo Financial Advisors. He was fired by the firm in February 2022 after his indiscretions came to light. (Image: VFA)

Christopher Turean was a certified financial planner at Valeo Financial Advisors in Carmel, Ind., an Indianapolis suburb, from September 2012 until February 2022, when the fraud was uncovered.

Valeo’s name was not mentioned in court documents, where it is referred to only as “Company A.” But the firm fully disclosed in February 2022 that Turean had been fired for “misappropriation of customer funds” in a public filing to the Securities Exchange Commission.

DraftKings, FanDuel Bettor

This involved Turean transferring $4,692,500 from a client, known only in court filings as Victim 1, according to prosecutors. From July 2019, the money was moved in tranches into a limited liability company, SCNT, controlled by Turean. From there, he transferred it to his personal account.

The client approved the transfers because he believed Turean had his best interests at heart, according to court documents.

Meanwhile, Turean falsely represented to the victim that money placed with SCNT was being invested in real estate. He even provided a false Net Worth statement stating that Victim 1 had $1.2 million invested in “SCNT LLC Real Estate Fund” which was comprised of “five properties.

Victim 1 became a client of Turean in 2015, and the defendant initially invested money “prudently, frequently in real estate,” according to the plea agreement.

But from July 2019, Turean began using the victim’s money as his own personal piggy bank, paying off debts and “frequently” placing sports bets on sites including DraftKings and Fanduel, prosecutors said.

He also put more than $1 million of Victim 1’s money toward a home equity line of credit tied to his personal residence.

Tax Dodge

Turean misreported his taxable income to the IRS, culminating in a charge of filing a false tax return. As part of his plea agreement, he has agreed full restitution to Victim 1, as well as an additional $1,725,246 in restitution to the IRS.

Turean held 11 years of securities industry experience, according to the SEC. But in September 2022, the Certified Board of Financial Planners announced it had revoked Turean’s right to use the CFP certifications marks.

The wire fraud charge carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years. A sentencing date has not yet been set by the court.