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Financial advisor gets 13 years in prison for swindling $5.1 million from investors

A former financial advisor from Chicago was sentenced to 13 years in prison for swindling investors out of $5.1 million to fund club memberships and a Los Angeles mansion.

Darayl Davis, 48, used the money to pay rent for the eight-bedroom mansion and also spent his ill-gotten gains on theater tickets, plane tickets, rental cars and luxury hotels, the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Illinois said.

He carried out his scheme from 2003 to 2018, the attorney’s office said. Davis pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of mail fraud, and the sentence was handed down Monday.

Prosecutors said Davis told investors they would be protected from any losses and would receive fixed interest payments if they invested with his firms, Washington, D.C.-based Financial Assurance Corp. and Los Angeles-based Affluent Advisory Group LLC.

In reality, Davis didn’t invest the funds as he promised and spent the money on himself, prosecutors said. He tried to hide the scam by using funds from some investors to pay others in a Ponzi-like scheme.

Davis targeted fellow church members, friends and former clients, prosecutors said. In all, more than 25 people were defrauded out of more than $5.1 million. Many of the victims were retirees who gave Davis all of their savings.

“Davis knew these people trusted him and deliberately exploited that trust,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher Catizone and Philip N. Fluhr argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum.

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