December 19, 2014

Former Investment Adviser Sentenced on Wire Fraud, Tax Evasion Charges

ROANOKE, VA—A former investment advisor employed by the Roanoke, Va. branch of an unnamed global financial services firm, was sentenced today in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Roanoke on wire fraud and tax evasion charges.

Donna J. Tucker, 58, of Roanoke, Va., previously waived her right to be indicted and pleaded guilty to a two-count Information charging her with one count of wire fraud and one count of tax evasion. Today in District Court, Tucker was sentenced to 60 months of Federal incarceration. In addition, was ordered to pay $976,485 in restitution to victims.

In evidence presented at today’s sentencing by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel P. Bubar and United States Secret Service Special Agent Andrew Beaman, Tucker stole directly from and caused loss to the accounts of two sets of victims. Evidence showed that all of the victims in this case were elderly and one couple was particularly vulnerable, as they are both legally blind. The Court took these factors into consideration and specifically included the recommended sentencing enhancements regarding the vulnerability of these victims and Tucker’s abuse of a position of trust.

According to information presented at previous hearings, Tucker was an investment advisor in Roanoke from 2007 through April 2013. In August 2010, Tucker forged the signature of one of her clients, an elderly couple who held a joint account, in order to obtain a line of credit, supposedly for the clients, through her firm’s banking arm. Tucker took these actions without the knowledge or consent of the victim.

Approximately one year later, on August 4, 2011, Tucker caused to be transmitted a wire transfer of $295,000 from the victim’s account to her own account at a local credit union. These funds were used to benefit Tucker and her family. In addition, Tucker took steps to ensure the victims did not learn of the unauthorized transfer by instructing others at her firm to place the victims in an all-electronic delivery system that would send the victim’s account statements by e-mail. Tucker also made false statements to the victims, other employees at the firm and created false documents in order to carry out the scheme.

Additionally, in calendar year 2011, Tucker reported to the Internal Revenue Service a taxable income of $125,333. The defendant has admitted to knowingly failing to report additional taxable income of at least $340,000, which resulted in an additional tax of at least $115,000 being owed to the United States.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the United States Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations and the Roanoke City Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Daniel P. Bubar and Special Assistant United States Attorney Drew Bradylyons prosecuted the case for the United States.