An Indianapolis financial adviser admitted to stealing $4.6 million from a client’s investment account and using the money for sports betting, according to prosecutors. Christopher Turean, a former financial planner at Valeo Financial Advisors in Carmel, Indiana, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and tax fraud.
Turean transferred the funds from a client, referred to as “Victim 1” in court filings, to a company controlled by him. He then moved the money to his personal account and falsely claimed that it was being invested in real estate. The client trusted Turean and approved the transfers, believing that his adviser had his best interests in mind.
Starting in July 2019, Turean used the victim’s money for personal expenses, including paying off debts and placing sports bets on sites like DraftKings and FanDuel. He also used over $1 million of the client’s funds to pay a home equity line of credit tied to his own residence.
In addition to wire fraud and tax fraud, Turean also misreported his taxable income to the IRS, leading to a charge of filing a false tax return. As part of his plea agreement, he has agreed to pay full restitution to the victim and an additional $1,725,246 in restitution to the IRS.
Turean, who had 11 years of securities industry experience, had his right to use the CFP certifications marks revoked by the Certified Board of Financial Planners in September 2022. The wire fraud charge carries a potential prison sentence of up to 20 years. A sentencing date for Turean has not yet been set by the court.