January 24, 2020
LANSING – Former Jackson-based investment adviser Robert Byrkit Morley Jr. was ordered to pay back the $700,000 he stole from an elderly couple during a sentencing hearing Thursday before Judge Thomas D. Wilson in Jackson County Circuit Court, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced.
Morley, 71, pleaded no contest Aug. 16, 2019 to one count of conducting a criminal enterprise, a 20-year felony. As part of his plea deal, he repaid $120,000 on Aug. 16, 2019 and agreed to pay an additional $580,000 to the victims’ heirs through a restitution order that the court issued today.
“When people, particularly seniors, choose to invest their hard-earned money, they shouldn’t have to worry about whether they’ll get cheated by their advisers, those who are supposed to be good stewards of their financial futures,” Nessel said. “Michigan families deserve better, and I’m pleased Mr. Morley has been ordered to repay the victims all the money he stole for his own personal gain.”
Between 2007 and 2014, Morley stole money from the elderly couple who entrusted him with their life savings, which was revealed when the trustee and heirs of the couple’s estate made several unsuccessful attempts to secure the money from Morley after the couple passed away.
The trustee and heirs ultimately filed a complaint with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, which issued a Cease and Desist Order against Morley and referred the case to the Michigan Department of Attorney General.
“Our LARA investigators led the way in exposing this crime and we are pleased to see that the court ordered Mr. Morley to fully repay the victims,” said LARA Director Orlene Hawks. “LARA is committed to taking appropriate action against licensees who take advantage of people’s trust; we truly appreciate the hard work of Attorney General Nessel and her team on this case.”
Morley was sentenced to four years to 20 years imprisonment, with credit for 454 days served.