Saturday, September 5, 2015 – 11:30 a.m.

Settlements have been reached with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over the mismanagement and plundering of accounts held at a now-defunct Redlands-based investment advisory firm.

The case arising from activities of the now-closed Thornes and Associates, and its principle John Thornes, has already lead to him being barred from the financial services industry.

The latest action comes on the heels of stunning allegations that the long-time investment advisor improperly converted some $4.2 million of client funds into unsecured and improperly documented personal loans to Highland resident Christopher Burnell and Redlands resident Kyle Larick.

Client funds were reportedly spent on lavish luxury gifts including, among other things, private jet charters, a high-end luxury car and real estate.

Just under $1 million of the illegally-taken monies was funneled through the popular San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino, where much of it was gambled away by Burnell.

Documents filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles show U.S. District Judge Gary Klausner approved settlements as follows:

  • Defendant John Thornes must pay a settlement totaling $4,645,329, inclusive of prejudgement interest.
  • Defendant Doreen Thornes must pay a disgorgement totaling $60,000.
  • Defendant Christopher Burnell must pay a disgorgement of $3,071,112.90.

The court dismissed Defendant Kyle Larick from the case.

The total settlements recover all misappropriated funds plus fines, penalties and interest.