As released by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Peter J. Smith.
United States Attorney.
Middle District of Pennsylvania.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of
Pennsylvania announced today that Robert G. Bard, age 47, of
Warfordsburg, Pennsylvania, was sentenced by Senior U.S. District
Court Judge Sylvia H. Rambo to 262 months’ imprisonment, ordered to
pay $4.2 million in restitution to 66 victims, and was placed on two
years supervised release after release from prison.
In handing down her sentence, Judge Rambo stated “Bard’s actions
had a devastating impact on his victims and the lengthy sentence was
appropriate under the circumstances.” Judge Rambo ordered that Bard
be immediately taken into custody to commence serving his sentence.
A number of victims were present in the courtroom and applauded as
Bard was taken into custody.
Bard was convicted of 21 counts of securities fraud, mail fraud,
wire fraud, bank fraud, and making false statements after a seven-day
jury trial in August 2013. The evidence at trial proved that Bard
was a registered investment advisor and was the owner and operator of
Vision Specialist Group (VSG) between December 2004 and August 2009.
The jury convicted Bard of defrauding numerous investors by, among
other things, misrepresenting the value and make-up of their
Bard executed the scheme by creating phony account statements
which significantly inflated the value of the investors’ accounts and
included securities that were not owned by the investor. Bard created
the phony account statements to conceal over $5.8 million in losses
his clients sustained between 2006 and 2009 as a result of risky and
speculative stocks he purchased on their behalf.
Bard also failed to inform his clients that he was terminated
from his prior employment as a stock broker for forging customer
signatures on financial documents, had received a lifetime ban from
the National Association of Securities Dealers and had declared
personal bankruptcy in 2005.
The case was investigated by the FBI with assistance from the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Senior Litigation Counsel
Bruce Brandler handled the prosecution.
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