The US soldier accused of murdering 16 Afghan civilians in this month’s unprovoked shooting spree was over $1.5 million in debt and in danger of losing his home, according to various news reports.
According to his Financial Industry Regulatory Authority central records depository (CRD), Robert Bales, a 38-year-old Staff Sergeant, was found guilty of securities fraud before joining the army, and still owed his fraud victims hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation and punitive damages granted in a FINRA arbitration award.
The FINRA arbitration Panel found, Bales, the firm and another defendant engaged in fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, churning, unauthorized trading, and unsuitable investments. The former victim, Gary Liebschner, described Bales as a smooth-talking conman who lost over $1.2 million of his life savings. While working as a stockbroker at MPI, Bales sold AT&T; shares on Liebschner’s behalf then disappeared with the proceeds. “He robbed me of my life savings,” Mr Liebschner told ABC News. “We didn’t know where he was.” The March 11, 2012 shootings in Afghanistan changed all that with bales picture all over various news outlets. As reports would later uncover, he had been living in Washington State with his wife and children and in serious debt.
Bales’s wife, Karilyn, offered her condolences to the victims, and said she was still struggling to come to terms with what happened. She said the reports about the shooting were “completely out of character of the man I know and admire.”
Maybe not given his former brokerage career.