2021 | Courts

Chevy Chase man accused of $750K wire fraud scheme

Money was stolen from nonprofit that helps veterans, authorities say

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A Chevy Chase man has been accused of orchestrating a wire fraud scheme that involved stealing $750,000 from a nonprofit that helps military veterans, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced on Monday.

Brian McQuade, 70, told the nonprofit and its principals that he was an investment advisor at Columbia Financial Advisors, LLP, according to the indictment.

McQuade allegedly told clients, including the nonprofit, that he would manage their investment accounts, but instead stole the funds for personal use, according to the indictment.

McQuade had not been “formally affiliated” with Columbia since at least 2015, although he told the nonprofit that he was a licensed, registered investment adviser, according to a press release. He also allegedly told the nonprofit that he would put the organization’s money in a brokerage account.

The nonprofit wired $750,000 to McQuade, but he never opened the brokerage account, according to the press release. Instead, he transferred the money to his personal accounts and spent some of it on dining, country club dues, car payments and mortgages.

McQuade created a fake account statement for the nonprofit to give the impression that he was putting the money into an investment account, according to the press release. The nonprofit has never recovered any of the money.

The scheme started in June 2018 and continued up until last month, according to the indictment.

McQuade’s indictment was returned on Sept. 2 and unsealed on Monday, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He is charged with two counts of wire fraud and faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each count.

Court records for McQuade were not available Monday afternoon. Neither McQuade nor his attorney, federal public defender Kristina Leslie, could be immediately reached for comment on Monday.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com