A former Ameriprise financial advisor is expected to stand trial June 12 in Santa Ana on federal fraud and money laundering charges for allegedly embezzling clients’ funds that she promised would be invested but were instead used for a $1 million condominium and other personal expenses.
Li Lin Hsu, 40, of Diamond Bar was arrested Wednesday by special agents with the FBI pursuant to an eight-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury a day earlier, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The indictment charges Hsu with three counts each of mail and wire fraud, and one count each of money laundering and obstruction of justice.
Over a five-year period, while employed by Ameriprise and after her termination in 2015, Hsu solicited investments from clients through, among other ways, advertisements in local Chinese-language newspapers, prosecutors allege. The indictment contends that at least 11 victims sustained total losses of at least $2 million.
According to the indictment, Hsu failed to invest her clients’ funds, and instead spent the money on personal expenses, such as credit card bills, personal loans, luxury items and real estate.
The money laundering charge alleges the defendant used nearly $1 million stolen from one victim to purchase the condo in Diamond Bar. Prosecutors allege that Hsu attempted to conceal the scheme by using some of the stolen money to pay back other victims, and that she sent her clients bogus account statements and investment purchase confirmations.
If convicted of the charges in the indictment, Hsu would face up to 20 years in federal prison on each of the fraud counts, 10 years on the money laundering count, and 5 years on the obstruction of justice charge, prosecutors said.