Bard Will Be Judged Regardless Of Court’s Ruling
To The Editor:
We had the opportunity to witness the long-awaited punitive hearing for Robert Bard in Harrisburg. First, let me mention that our hearts were touched by the presence of others who were and still are affected by the irresponsible and disrespectful behaviors of this individual. These kind, caring people fell into the same trap as we did in trusting someone who presented a Christian platform with which to gather the confidence and trust of his clients, only to be deceived and lied to, and, in many cases, losing all of the investments entrusted to him. The devastation led to retired workers going back to work, personal stress leading to health issues and financial burdens that are still affecting many of the clients.
The evidence presented against him was undisputed, and it was clear that not only did he not care about the 30 plus individuals he lied to, he had no respect for the legal system as was demonstrated in his continued efforts to work in the investment field or deal with finances in other manners. He was previously found in contempt of court for these actions, and it was made public that he recently sold a property located in the Cayman Islands, even though his assets were frozen. It was even documented that he formed another limited liability corporation involving his wife, which raised concerns about his engagement in restricted activities. The only remarks from his attorney circled around his poor income for the past few years and a reason for his deception, which was disputed by the SEC attorneys.
Many of us were looking for some closure and justice in seeing Bard as remorseful and apologetic. However, as he exited the elevator at the courthouse, he showed no signs that this was the case as he was smiling and chatting with his lawyers with his wife by his side. He exercised his Fifth Amendment rights to not testify, which gave no comfort or closure to those present. In addition, he held his head down and didn’t make eye contact with any of us as he was escorted out of the courtroom.
We can only hope that the judge considers this overwhelming evidence against him and justifies the $4 million worth of punitive damages requested and justified by the SEC attorneys. We may never regain our losses, and we doubt if we can ever fully trust people again, but we can only hope that he has to live the rest of his life working to pay back those he victimized and a community that trusted him. Regardless of the judge’s decision regarding damages, he will be judged, and I don’t think he will be able to smile and lie when that occurs.
Nancy and Mike Szwydek
Editor’s note: As reported in the Dec. 8 issue of the “News,” a civil penalty hearing in the securities fraud case brought against Robert Bard, Warfordsburg financial advisor, by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was set for Jan. 19 in U.S. Middle District Court of Pennnsylvania, Harrisburg, Pa. The hearing took place as scheduled, however, as of press time Tuesday, the court had made no final judgement on the SEC’s request for a civil penalty of $4,030,000. Bard was found in violation of federal securities laws in November 2011 and was ordered then to pay $450,000 in disgorgement, plus prejudgement interest, for profits connected to the securities violations. The “News” will publish a full report of the court’s civil penalty ruling as soon as it is made.