Financial Advisor Steals from Customers to Live the High Life - WBAY

Target 2 Consumer Alert

Financial Advisor Steals from Customers to Live the High Life

Updated:

It's supposed to be a person you trust, your financial advisor.

But thousands of people were duped by a financial advisor who abused his position.

Purchases made in grocery stores helped postal inspectors link Andrew Myers to more than 57 cases of identity theft.

"He stole clients' information and identity profiles from both his customers and his fellow co-workers, and then performed changes of addresses and opened various bank accounts and credit cards in their names," said Douglas Biel, U.S. Postal Inspector.

Myers worked for Northwestern Mutual, selling both investments and insurance. But his own quest for money led to his downfall.

"He was trying to live the high life," Biel said. "He was staying in very high end, he was flying call girls with him out to the Playboy mansion and feeding on other peoples' dime."

Judy Cohen didn't know Myers, but she was one of his victims.

"Surely there's some connection, because why would somebody who I have no past with, why would they target me?" asked Cohen.

Fortunately, Judy's bank promptly alerted her and her husband that someone was applying for charge cards in their names.

"They could have run up bills, we would have no clue that someone was out spending in our name," Biel said. "No one is safe. I'm not safe, again It could happen again to me again. It could be happening right now."

Judy has a message for all consumers:

"The easiest thing to do is take your head in the sand, quit pretending or thinking that it's not going to happen to you," Cohen said. "I guarantee you, it will. As economic times get harder, people are getting more desperate."

Andrew Myers is currently serving a two-year prison term and was ordered to pay $35,000 in restitution.

Judy Cohen says she and her husband now have credit monitoring services on all of their accounts and they carefully check every bank statement.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires that each of the three credit-reporting agencies provide consumers with a free credit report upon request every 12 months. Click here for details from the Federal Trade Commission on how to get free credit reports.

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