The Securities and Exchange Commission has leveled fraud charges against an investment adviser and his operations manager, accusing them of stealing approximately $378,000 from clients.
The SEC's complaint alleges that Tarek D. Bahgat, a former resident of Williamsville, N.Y., who now lives in Egypt, misappropriated money from seven clients, including senior citizens.
In addition, the regulator claims Mr. Bahgat, who had obtained internet bill-paying privileges, impersonated his clients in telephone calls with custodians and triggered money transfers from his clients' accounts to himself or to WealthCFO, a firm he controlled.
The complaint also says the firm's operations manager, Lauramarie Colangelo, of Amherst, N.Y., posed as one of Mr. Bahgat's clients during a telephone call with a broker-dealer.
The SEC's complaint seeks permanent injunctions and civil penalties from Mr. Bahgat and Ms. Colangelo, and disgorgement plus interest from Mr. Bahgat. The complaint names WealthCFO as a relief defendant for the purpose of disgorging illicit proceeds, plus interest, from the fraud.