Chicago investment adviser charged with stealing $683,000 from clients, including 2 men with dementia

David S. Wells, 32, is accused of telling clients he would invest their money in publicly traded companies but spending it on himself and losing the rest on risky trades.

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A Chicago investment adviser has been charged with stealing $683,000 from three clients, including two men suffering from dementia.

David S. Wells, 32, is accused of falsely telling the clients he would invest their money in publicly traded companies, according to a federal indictment.

The clients sent him checks made payable to “Wayne and Stark,” which Wells claimed was a publicly traded company, the indictment states. Wayne and Stark was actually a shell company set up and controlled by Wells, the indictment charges.

Wells used the clients’ funds for personal use, including rent and unauthorized trading in “high-risk options contracts,” according to the indictment. Wells lost or spent all of the clients’ fund, the indictment states.

The alleged fraud occurred in 2020 and 2021.

The indictment comes more than four months after the Securities and Exchange Commission filed its own charges against Wells over his handling of the same accounts.

In its complaint, the SEC said Wells told the three clients to buy cashiers’ checks made out to Wayne and Stark. Wells lost most of the money through risky options trading, the SEC said.

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