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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Williamsburg Lawyer Convicted of Defrauding Retirees

File photo (Pixabay)

NORFOLK — On Friday, April 30, Williamsburg lawyer, Billy J. Seabolt, was convicted alongside Daryl Bank, of defrauding people at or near retirement age out of more than $25 million.

It all started in 2010 when Daryl Bank, then a registered securities broker, was barred from the securities industry by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). However, Bank went on to create a private equity company based out of Virginia Beach, Dominion Private Client Group (Dominion), in order to sell unregistered securities nationwide.

Evidence presented at trial showed that between January 2012 and July 2017, Bank, along with Seabolt and two other co-conspirators, deceived more than 300 unsuspecting investors and stole a significant portion of the investment contributions to fund their criminal activity and Bank’s lavish lifestyle.

Who is Billy Seabolt?

Seabolt was hired as Dominion’s legal counsel. He owned his own law firm, Family Wealth Law, with offices in Lynchburg and Williamsburg. The seemingly assumingly lawyer claimed to specialize in financial matters, particularly those pertaining to retirees and the elderly.

The Oklahoma native, husband and father of three’s biography states that he holds an Associate of Arts and a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies and Pastoral Ministries, a Master of Arts in government, a Master of Business Administration, and that he earned his Juris Doctor from Regent University School of Law in Virginia Beach.

The website from Seabolt’s law firm has several alleged client testimonials, commenting on his professionalism, advice, and speaking of how Seabolt “went the extra mile” for his clients. (To see the alleged testimonials, click here)

A local lawyer’s participation

Billy Seabolt was hired as legal counsel for Daryl Bank’s various fraudulent businesses. Along with Bank and two other conspirators, Seabolt was part of a fraud scheme to sell illiquid, highly speculative vehicles through misrepresentation and omissions. They preyed upon unsuspecting and inexperienced investors who were at or near retirement age.

The victims cashed out their 401(k)s and other retirement savings accounts to invest in the fraudulent opportunities that Bank presented to them. As a result of this complex investment fraud scheme, more than 300 victims lost a total in excess of $25 million.

Arrest and Trial

A warrant was issued for the arrest of Seabolt on April 19, 2018.

In 2021, Bank and Seabolt went on trial for their roles in the scheme. Bank was convicted of conspiracy, mail and wire fraud, selling unregistered securities, securities fraud, and money laundering. He faces up to a 300-year prison sentence. The sentencing phase for Bank will begin on September 20.

Seabolt was convicted of conspiracy and mail fraud, facing a penalty of up to 75 years, with the sentencing phase scheduled to begin September 15.

A federal district judge will determine sentencing after taking into consideration the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines as well as any other pertaining factors.

“Combatting elder abuse and financial fraud targeted at seniors is a key priority of the Department of Justice. Elder abuse is an intentional or negligent act by any person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to an older adult,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Raj Parekh, Eastern District of Virginia.

The Virginia State Bar did not return WYDaily’s request for comment on Seabolt nor this case at the time of publication.

WYDaily will continue to keep you informed on this case as more information becomes available. 


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