2009-11-26 / Front Page

Bard Fraud Case On Jan. 2011 Trial List

Federal court trial date to be set
By Lindsay R. Mellott STAFF WRITER

A U.S. district judge has ordered a civil suit charging Warfordsburg investment advisor Robert Glenn Bard and his firm, Vision Specialist Group LLC, with securities fraud placed on the January 2011 trial list of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

U.S. District Judge William W. Caldwell’s Nov.12 order follows a case management conference between the federal court and counsel for the SEC, Bard and Vision Specilist Group.

The judge’s order also includes a time frame for the various stages of the pre-trial litigation process, including discovery (interrogatories, subpoenas, depositions, etc.) and motions.

Bard, 43, has been accused by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of cheating investors, many of them from southern Fulton County and nearby communities, out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In charges filed July 30 in the federal court in Harrisburg, the SEC alleged that Bard and Vision Specialist Group targeted investors in the Warfordsburg area ‘”with promises of high yields and safety of principal, telling clients that they had invested in safe investments such as bonds, certificates of deposit, and money market funds.”

The SEC alleges that Bard actually put his clients’ money in risky and losing investments, and that he lied to them about the performance of their accounts.

In August Caldwell approved a preliminary injunction against Bard, preventing him from acting as a financial advisor and placing a freeze on the assets of Bard and Vision Specialist Group.

The SEC said in court documents filed in July that the firm’s assets under management were between $4.4 million and $6 million.

Bard and Vision Specialist Group’s fraud, the SEC has alleged in court documents, “left retirees without their nest eggs, memorial funds empty, life insurance from deceased family members gone, and a volunteer fire company without funds it might otherwise use for new equipment.”

The SEC seeks a permanent injunction, the payment of disgorgement of ill-gotten gains together with prejudgement interest and the payment of civil penalties. Court documents state that the Commission is un- able, at this time, to accurately calculate these totals because the full extent of the alleged fraud cannot be determined without further discovery.

Caldwell’s Nov. 12 order does not stipulate a trial date but states that a scheduling order will follow and that parties and known witnesses will be notified of this schedule immediately.

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