Merrill Lynch broker Christopher Hibbard (CRD# 3176484) faces multiple customer complaints for misappropriation of funds. Hibbard has been registered with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. in Louisville, Kentucky from 2010 to January 2018 when he was terminated regarding, “Conduct including unauthorized transactions and theft.”
In April 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) barred Hibbard.
In June 2020, Hibbard pled guilty to one count of investment advisor fraud and nine counts of wire fraud. In December 2020,
On December 16, 2020, a judgment in the criminal case was entered against Hibbard and he was sentenced to a prison term of 97 months followed by three years of supervised release and a special assessment of $1,000.
In November 2018, an investigation was opened against Hibbard charging him with wire fraud and investment advisor fraud.
In May 2018, FINRA barred Hibbard after he failed to respond to FINRA request for information.
In April 2018, the United States Attorney’s Office, Western District of Kentucky opened an investigation into Hibbard regarding, “unauthorized use of client funds by registered representative during his employment with the Firm.”
Hibbard has been the subject of 10 customer complaints between 2018 and 2020, according to his CRD report. Most complaints are regarding variable annuities and mutual funds.
- September 2020. “Allegation of misappropriation of funds.” The customer is seeking $100,000 in damages.
- January 2019. “The customer allege misrepresentation, unauthorized trading, misappropriation of funds, forgery and embezzlement from 2005 to January 2018.” The case was settled for $250,000.
- October 2018. “The customer alleges misappropriation of funds from July 26, 2010 until January 08, 2018.” The case is currently pending.
- July 2018. “Attorney for client alleges theft, churning, misrepresentation, unsuitable investment recommendations and misappropriation of funds from July 1, 2010 until January 1, 2018.” The customer is seeking $175,000 in this pending complaint.
- May 2018. “From November 2009 to August 2010 client alleges misappropriation of funds.” The case is currently pending.
- May 2018. “The customers allege misrepresentation and discrepancies in amount of withdrawals from account from May 2011 to
- February 2018.” The customer is seeking $500,000 in this pending complaint.
- April 2018. “Attorney for client alleges theft and unauthorized annuity withdrawals from 2011 to 2014.” The customer is seeking $2.25 million in damages in this pending complaint.
- April 2018. “The Customer alleges theft and misappropriation of funds from July 2010 until August 2016.” The customer is seeking $45,000 in damages in this pending complaint.
- April 2018. “Trustee alleges theft and an unauthorized annuity withdrawal in 2011.” The case is currently pending.
- April 2018. “Attorney for client alleges fraud and lack of documentation related to accounts from July 2010 to present.” The case is currently pending.
- March 2018. “The customers allege unauthorized transactions and theft, unsuitable investment recommendations, failure to follow instructions, and misrepresentation.” The case was settled for $3.6 million.
Pursuant to FINRA Rules, member firms are responsible for supervising a broker’s activities during the time the broker is registered with the firm. Therefore, Merrill Lynch may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by Hibbard’s customers.
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