Monday, July 22, 2013 – 10:00 a.m.

A long-time Redlands-based investment advisor, who is at the center of allegations he misappropriated $4.2 million of client funds is leaving the securities business.

John Thornes made the announcement to clients in a letter dated June 18.

Thornes Closure Announcement

(Click on image to enlarge)

In May of this year, the Financial Industry Regulatory Association (FINRA) filed a complaint against Thornes, alleging he improperly transferred clients monies to Highland resident Christopher Burnell, who is a former San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Deputy, and Redlands resident Kyle Larick.

To read the complaint, click here: FINRA Complaint – Thornes & Associates

Thornes letter to clients also acknowledges an ongoing U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation.

Of the some $4.2 million, alleged to have been misappropriated, nearly $1 million in Thornes & Associates issued checks were cashed at San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino for Burnell’s benefit.

Witnesses say Burnell was a high-roller customer at the casino, routinely wagering tens of thousands of dollars during some visits. But, much of the monies appears to have been spent on luxury items, including a high-end new car purchase and private jet charter.

Last week, law enforcement agents executed a search warrant at Burnell’s Santa Ana Canyon Road residence in Highland.

Thornes & Associates reportedly had more than $100 million in accounts under management prior to the allegations becoming public.