Ahwatukee financial adviser sentenced to prison for stealing more than $10 million

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AHWATUKEE, Ariz. - An Ahwatukee financial adviser was sentenced to 20 years in prison for multiple counts of theft.

James Buchanan, 45, was sentenced Tuesday in Maricopa County after pleading guilty to 15 counts of theft. His 20 year jail term will be followed by seven years of probation.

Between 2001 and 2008, Buchanan was a financial adviser employed by Ameriprise and LPL Financial. Buchanan was selling investments in securities that were not approved by his employing brokerage houses.

A release from Yavapai County stated "Buchanan deposited his clients’ money into his personal bank account, never opened accounts with the brokerage houses, falsely claimed to be a certified financial planner (CFP), and prepared false confirmations of investments and monthly statements which he gave to the victims.  The bogus statements indicated that the accounts were FDIC insured, and the money was invested in “investor certificates.”

Buchanan knew many of his victims from church. He even had delivered the eulogy for one victim's deceased husband and then helped her allegedly invest the insurance proceeds.

After the indictment more victims came forward, so in all there were over forty victims who in total lost more than $10 million.

Both Ameriprise and LPL settled civil actions brought by many of the victims and have paid more than $4 million to the victims.