Verona wealth manager steals investor funds

A Verona wealth manager has admitted to stealing at least $1.5 million from 14 clients over 20 years, the Wisconsin State Journal reports.

According to a consent order with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), Thomas V. Demergian, 62, began offering clients a no-fee investment service in 2000, telling them that money deposited with his firm, Insight Wealth Management (IWM), would be invested in a variety of funds. In reality, according to the order, Demergian used the IWM account funds for personal expenses and income supplementation.

The order says a client became concerned about his investments with IWM in 2022, and in response was sent fake Vanguard statements by Demergian to give the appearance that the client had legitimate Vanguard investments. Vanguard is an investment-management company not implicated in Demergian’s case.

Demergian was the sole proprietor and only investment advisor with IWM at the time of the fraud, according to DFI; he has not been charged with any crimes. Demergian waived his right to a hearing in the case and did not dispute DFI’s findings.