Ex-AIG adviser who practiced voodoo on victims gets 12 years for fraud

The former money manager also lit candles and engaged a psychic in hopes of warding off damaging testimony from his marks

Sep 8, 2009 @ 3:28 pm

By Bruce Kelly

A Tennessee rep formerly affiliated with AIG Financial Advisors Inc. spent time making voodoo dolls of his victims to ward off their damaging testimony, prosecutors said.

Barry R. Stokes last year pleaded guilty to multiple counts of embezzlement, as well as mail and wire fraud, and money laundering for stealing $19 million from some 35,000 victims nationwide, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Nashville, Tenn., from their 401(k), health savings, and dependent care accounts.

On Friday, Mr. Stokes, 52, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Nashville to 12 years in prison after a hearing that presented evidence of his bizarre practices, according to reports in The Tennessean newspaper.

At a pre-sentencing hearing last week, prosecutors also said that Mr. Stokes paid a psychic with a credit card to give him readings while in jail, according to The Tennessean.

He also wrote a letter to the psychic saying that he was lighting candles and throwing salt over his shoulder to keep critics and creditors at bay, according to the report.

Mr. Stokes was registered with AIG Financial Advisors from October 2005 to September 2006, at which point his fraud was discovered and he was fired, according to brokerage records on file with the states where he was licensed to do business.

AIG Financial Advisors was renamed SagePoint Financial Inc. earlier this year, months after its parent, American International Group Inc. collapsed in the credit crisis and got an $85 billion bailout from the federal government.

From October 2001 to 2005, Mr. Stokes was licensed with Spelman & Co. Inc., another independent broker-dealer owned by AIG that was merged with AIG Financial Advisors.

According to his brokerage records, Mr. Stokes was hired by Spelman & Co. after he had been let go by two other broker-dealers, with one firm stating Mr. Stokes in 2000 failed to cooperate with an internal investigation.

His firm, 1Point Solutions, was an employee benefits administration company based in Dickson, Tenn.

Evelyn Curran, an AIG spokeswoman, said the company declined to comment about the matter.

0
Comments

What do you think?

View comments

Most watched

INTV

Young advisers envision a radically different business in five years

Fintech and sustainable investing are two factors being watched closely by some of the 2019 class of InvestmentNews' 40 Under 40.

INTV

Young professionals see lots of opportunity to reinvent the advice experience

Members of the 2019 InvestmentNews class of 40 Under 40 have strategies to overcome the challenges of being young in a mature industry.

Latest news & opinion

New Jersey fiduciary rule: Pressure leads to public hearing, comment deadline extension

Industry push results in chance to air grievances on July 17 and another month to present objections.

InvestmentNews' 2019 class of 40 Under 40

Our 40 Under 40 project, now in its sixth year, highlights young talent in the financial advice industry. These individuals illustrate the tremendous potential of those coming up in the profession. These stories will surprise, entertain, educate and inspire.

Galvin to propose fiduciary rule for Massachusetts brokers

The secretary of the commonwealth is proposing a fiduciary standard in response to an SEC investment-advice rule he views as too weak.

Summer reading recommendations from financial advisers

Here are some books that will keep you informed and entertained during summer's downtime

4 strategies for Roth conversions

There's never been a better time to do a Roth conversion, and here are several ways to go about it.

X

Hi! Glad you're here and we hope you like all the great work we do here at InvestmentNews. But what we do is expensive and is funded in part by our sponsors. So won't you show our sponsors a little love by whitelisting investmentnews.com? It'll help us continue to serve you.

Yes, show me how to whitelist investmentnews.com

Ad blocker detected. Please whitelist us or give premium a try.

X

Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print