A week after being barred from the industry, a Santa Monica, California, "financial consultant" now faces charges that he killed a client who found out that he was draining hundreds of thousands of dollars from investment accounts.
Daniel Becerril II allegedly took $550,000 in "loans" and outright unauthorized transfers from a Russia-born elementary school teacher's account back in 2008, then stabbed the client when the fraud became apparent.
If the Los Angeles Police Department is right, Becerril can add homicide to the more standard charges of money laundering, fraud, and grand theft that advisors who steal from their clients tend to rack up.
Becerril had previously faced FINRA censure for, among other things, depositing a prospect's daughter's $11,500 inheritance into his own account instead of investing it in mutual funds.
The timing here needs to be highlighted. It took FINRA over two years to weigh the inheritance case and bar Becerril from the industry.
Veritrust, which was Becerril's broker-dealer at the time, closed its complaint file back in 2009 after Becerril returned the money.
Becerril still shows up in FINRA Brokercheck as being employed by the firm, even though his registration lapsed immediately after the inheritance complaint came up.
It's not worth speculating about whether more thorough supervision at the time would have revealed something deeper going on behind that $11,500 check.
But you have to wonder if it would helped if the allegations were adjudicated by FINRA before a client turned up dead.