Former stockbrokerStar-Bulletin staff
pleads guilty to
A 54-year-old former stockbroker pleaded guilty to defrauding a client of $43,000.
Circuit Judge Marie Milks yesterday sentenced Alfred T. Patten to five years probation for the scheme. He could have faced 10 years behind bars but was eligible for probation because he has no prior criminal history.
The state securities commissioner has revoked Patten's license and imposed a $34,500 administrative penalty. He was registered as a securities salesman in Hawaii through Edward D. Jones & Co. LP where he was employed from May 1995 to June 1996.
Under a plea agreement with the state, Patten pleaded guilty to first-degree theft and fraud and had a third count of money laundering dropped.
He has agreed to repay $2,300 it cost the state to extradite him from California and pay $2,000 to the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii, which assists victims of crime. He was also ordered to write a letter of apology to his former client.
The state settled with the brokerage firm, which repaid the client the $43,000 that she lost, as well as $12,500 to the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs' Compliance Resolution Fund.
In October 1995, Patten convinced a client to withdraw $43,000 from her investment account to place in another type of investment that he said was more profitable, said Deputy Prosecutor Randal Lee said.
Patten used the money to open a personal checking account from which he paid his utilities and personal expenses.
He allegedly left Hawaii in April 1996 after assuring his client not to worry, that her money had been reinvested and that she would be receiving investment summaries. She never did. The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs initiated an investigation.