Oct 2
2009

Bruce E. Hammonds of San Antonio was sentenced to 57 months in federal prison on Oct. 2 after his conviction on two counts of securities fraud.

Judge Xavier Rodriguez of the U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas, also imposed three years of supervised release and ordered Hammonds to forfeit $232,451.

Hammonds had been a registered representative with Merrill Lynch when he defrauded victims by representing that he was trading through a Merrill Lynch-sponsored fund. In reality, Hammonds had placed investor funds into his personal account under the name of B&J Partnership.

When Merrill Lynch discovered Hammonds's activities, the brokerage terminated Hammonds and repaid investors whose funds were deposited through the brokerage; however, Hammonds continued his scheme to defraud some of the same victims by telling them he would trade through B&J Partnership at Peregrine Financial, aka PFGBest.

A joint investigation by the San Antonio FBI, the Texas State Securities Board and the United States Attorney's Office in San Antonio led to the criminal prosecution.