Financial advisor betrays clients' trust - CBS46 News

Financial advisor betrays clients' trust

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ATLANTA (CONSUMER ALERT) -

Edward Kahler used to be a trusted financial adviser. He worked for a subsidiary of AIG for more than 20 years.

"He was authorized to sell things like life insurance and annuities to people who were either going to retire or already retired," said US Postal Inspector Jeremy Leder.

For most of Kahler's career, he was very successful and honest. But then, authorities say he changed course.

"At some point, he decided he wasn't making enough money doing what he was doing and decided to start defrauding some of his clients," Leder said.

Having spent decades in the business, Kahler already had a key element necessary to pull of a scam: Trust.

"When he decided to defraud these people it was as simple as asking them to write him a check. Every single victim we talked to said, 'We trusted him," Leder said.

Kahler's request that clients write their checks out to him should have set off alarms. If you're investing with a firm, any checks or payments should be made to a company, not an individual.

"They would write him checks - large checks - in the amount of $50 to over $200 thousand," Leder said.

Kahler's scam spanned the country. He stole $190 million and lived the high life.

"He took the money and spent it on lavish expenses - trips to Vegas with his wife, he bought three cars with it," Leder said.

Law enforcement said Kahler showed no remorse after they caught him. But he'll likely have plenty of time to think about what he's done. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

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