Court documents detailed that Hammond stole money from his clients’ retirement and investment accounts from December 2010 through February 23, 2011. Some of the money was from employee benefit plans and pension benefit plans.
Hammond advised new and existing clients to invest money in a “private portfolio,” telling them its steady interest rate exceeded what their current investments were earning. The money clients gave him to invest was deposited into a standard business bank account. Hammond then withdrew this money and used it for personal expenses.
did not provide regular documentation to his defrauded clients, but sometimes gave
bogus investment updates, either orally or in falsified account summaries. When
one client asked to cash out $58,000, he said that they would have to wait
seven days before the money was available. A
week later, Hammond returned $48,000, using money stolen from a second client.
A few of Hammond’s victims spoke at his sentencing. One described being taken
advantage of after she was widowed; because of the amount of money Hammond
stole from this victim, she was unable to retire and care for her elderly
mother. A second said that she and her husband now faced the
prospect of being a financial drain upon their children as they grow older.
U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez called Hammond’s crime “inexcusable” in sentencing, and said the image painted by his supporters was completely at odds with the person who would “take money from widows.”