A Maple Grove financial adviser stole more than $2.25 million from nearly two dozen clients and used the money to build a $1.7 million home and buy high-end jewelry and other luxury items, according to federal charges.
Isaiah L. Goodman, 33, was charged Monday in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis with mail fraud in connection with the alleged scheme that stretched for roughly three years until November.
Goodman's attorney, Joe Dixon, told the Star Tribune on Tuesday that his client "reported himself to the Department of Justice. He takes full responsibility for his actions and is doing what he can to make amends."
The U.S. Attorney's Office included an array of purchases that prosecutors say he made with money his 23 clients were led to believe would be put "into safe and secure investment accounts, such as individual retirement accounts and 401(k) retirement savings plans," the charging document read.
In one instance, Goodman put a check from Ameriprise Financial for $377,532 into one of his business accounts that was intended for a St. Paul client's retirement fund.
Instead, the prosecutors are alleging, Goodman spent much of the $2.25 million on building a $1.7 million home in Plymouth, a $76,000 down payment on a $535,000 house in Maple Grove, $49,500 for a Ford Expedition, nearly $14,000 for a hot tub, $12,000 on a cruise vacation, $8,300 for fitness club memberships and $4,516 on jewelry from Tiffany.
According to the charge:
Goodman, a registered investment adviser and broker, swindled his clients while operating Becoming Financial Group Inc., Becoming Financial Advisory Services and MoneyVerbs, a business that claimed to provide customers with financial guidance through an internet-based app.
To perpetuate his crimes and cover his tracks, Goodman provided clients with false investment proposals and bogus online account information. He also made empty promises to clients that their money would be returned to them upon request.
However, he either kept the money or provided investors with refunds that were late, incomplete or funded by other clients' money.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482