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The U.S. soldier accused of murdering 16 civilians in Afghanistan has a rather checkered past, as an Ohio stock broker, according to a report on Bloomberg.com.

Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales rattled around the Ohio brokerage community from 1996 until 2000, when he was accused of ripping off a couple to the tune of $600,000.  At the time of the offence, he was working at Michael Patterson, Inc., in Columbus, Ohio.

Gary and Carroll Liebschner had asked Bales to sell some of their investments to cover medical costs.  Bales sold the securities, but pocketed the cash, according to FINRA records.

In November 2001, Bales joined the Army, presumably in response to the September 11 attacks.

On April 16, 2003, a FINRA arbitrator found Bales had “engaged in fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, churning, unauthorized trading and unsuitable investments,” and ordered him to pay the Liebschners $637,000 in compensation and another $637,000 in punitive damages.

He was also ordered to pay the couple’s $216,500 legal fees

Bales is currently incarcerated in Fort Leavenworth, awaiting trial over the Afghanistan murders.

Originally published on Advisor.ca

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