Former Financial Advisor Sentenced to 33 Months in Prison For Stealing More Than $1 Million from Clients
Defendant Embezzled Funds from Four Athletes
WASHINGTON – A former financial advisor, who provided services and investment advice to current and former professional athletes, was sentenced today to 33 months in prison for stealing more than $1 million from his clients, announced U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips and Andrew W. Vale, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
Brian J. Ourand, 56, now of Chicago, admitted stealing from four athletes, including boxing champion Mike Tyson and former National Basketball Association All-Star Glen Rice. At the time of the offense, Ourand was an executive for a Washington, D.C.-based company.
Ourand pled guilty in February 2017 to a charge of wire fraud in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. In addition to the prison term, the Honorable Tanya S. Chutkan ordered Ourand to pay $1,002,390 in restitution and an identical amount as a forfeiture money judgment. Following his prison term, Ourand will be placed on three years of supervised release. During that time, the judge ordered, he must provide financial disclosure statements and perform 100 hours of community service.
“Brian Ourand’s greed came at a cost to the people who trusted him with their money,” said U.S. Attorney Phillips. “Instead of wisely managing his clients’ funds, as he had promised to do, he used the money for hotels, health care memberships, rental cars and other personal expenses. Today’s sentence holds him accountable for his larcenous acts.”
“Brian Ourand concocted a series of lies with one goal in mind – to enrich himself and others by stealing approximately $1 million and deceiving those who put their trust in him,” said Assistant Director in Charge Vale. “Financial fraud is and continues to be, a high priority for the FBI and we will continue to work closely with our partners to bring these white-collar criminals to justice”
In his plea, Ourand admitted that he embezzled the funds through various means, including numerous fraudulent checks that he made payable in his own name and to cash, which he later deposited into his personal accounts. Ourand also admitted to stealing his clients’ money for the benefit of others, including his girlfriend and another individual identified in court documents as “Person B.” In one such instance, Ourand obtained a cashier’s check using funds from the bank account of Mr. Rice in the amount of $10,000 in order to pay the registration fee of “Person B” to participate in the 2009 World Series of Poker tournament in Las Vegas. Ourand also used client funds to send numerous wire transfers to his girlfriend and “Person B” via Western Union, at least some of which money was used to pay off Ourand’s gambling debts.
According to a statement of offense submitted as part of the plea, the criminal activities began as early as 2006 and continued through July 2011. Ourand’s employer, identified in court documents as “Company A,” terminated his employment in August of 2011, after the scheme was uncovered. The company reimbursed the athletes for their losses.
In his work for the firm, Ourand and the company provided advisory and financial management services to high net-worth individuals, most of whom were current or former professional athletes. For example, Ourand and the company paid invoices and bills, coordinated tax preparation, and provided estate planning on behalf of clients. In that capacity, Ourand managed his clients’ personal and business bank accounts and credit cards, among other financial-related services.
The criminal charges involved Ourand’s work for Mr. Tyson, Mr. Rice, and two other athletes, identified in court documents as “Athlete C” and “Athlete D.” As part of the plea agreement, Ourand agreed that he abused a position of trust in committing the offense.
According to the statement of offense, Ourand deposited nearly 100 checks, drawn on the accounts of the four athletes, into a personal bank account, even though he was not authorized to do so. He also initiated numerous wire transfers, drawn on the bank accounts of Mr. Tyson, Mr. Rice and “Athlete C,” for which he had no authorization. As part of his scheme, Ourand also made numerous unauthorized ATM withdrawals and debit card transactions using funds belonging to Mr. Tyson, and obtained credit cards in his own name on the accounts of Mr. Rice and a foundation formed by “Athlete C,” which Ourand used to make unauthorized purchases.
Ourand sought to conceal his activities by generating documentation falsely claiming the money was used for business-related or otherwise authorized expenses, such as “personal expenses” for the client. His actions caused $546,168 in losses for Mr. Rice; $265,124 for Mr. Tyson; $182,957 for “Athlete C,” and $8,141 for “Athlete D.”
According to the government’s evidence, Ourand used the money for personal expenses, including to pay ordinary, everyday costs such as groceries and gas stations and to cover more expensive purchases, such as stays at high-end hotels, rental cars, health club membership fees, department store purchases, golf course fees, tanning salons, and fancy restaurants.
The Securities and Exchange Commission previously announced charges against Ourand, who was later found to have misappropriated funds from client accounts in violation of securities laws. Ourand has been ordered to pay disgorgement of $671,367 plus prejudgment interest and a $300,000 penalty, and he was barred from the securities industry.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Phillips and Assistant Director in Charge Vale commended the work of those who investigated the case from the FBI’s Washington Field Office. They also acknowledged the efforts of those who are working on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, including Arvind K. Lal, Chief of the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section; Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Vesna Harasic-Yaksic, also of the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section; Supervisory Paralegal Specialist Tasha Harris; and former Paralegal Specialists Heather Sales and Angela Lawrence.
Finally, they commended the work of Special Assistant U.S. Attorney David A. Last and Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter C. Lallas, who prosecuted the case.