RALEIGH, North Carolina (WTVD) -- Raleigh investment adviser Stephen Peters, 44, has been charged by a federal grand jury in a 16-count indictment for misrepresenting clients and providing fraudulent representations to investors.
Records show Peters collectively operated three businesses, VisionQuest Wealth Management LLC, VisionQuest Capital LLC, and VQ Wealth LLC, as one; each solicited funds from investors and clients in different manners.
The FBI first started investigating Peters in July.
From 2009 to 2017, Peters both directly and through subordinate advisors at Management LLC, marketed and sold Capital LLC notes primarily to clients of Management LLC.
In total, during that period, he sold about $15 million worth of Capital LLC notes - most of the individuals who purchased the Capital LL notes were clients of Management LLC.
Records also indicate, Peters stole large portions of investor proceeds and carried out a Ponzi scheme on investors, omitting information and providing false and fraudulent representations to them.
Since Peters was an acting registered investment advisor, by law, be had to fulfill a fiduciary duty to the clients of management - meaning Peters had an obligation to act in the best interest of his clients and provide them with beneficial investment advice.
He was also prohibited from using his clients' assets to his own benefit and the benefit of other clients without their express consent.
Peters charges include one count of investment advisor fraud, one count of fraud in the sale of unregistered securities, nine counts of wire fraud, four counts of engaging in monetary transactions in criminally derived property, and one count of corruptly endeavoring to influence a federal agency.
If convicted to the full extent on all charges, Peters could face up to 235 years in prison.
Each of the foregoing offenses also carries a maximum fine of up to $250,000 per count, a term of supervised release, and restitution if ordered.