For release on August 2, 2016   CONTACT:
Cherie Bourlard, Deputy District Attorney
Elder Financial Abuse Unit
(408) 792-2519   FUGITIVE FINANCIAL ADVISOR CHARGED WITH STEALING $900,000 FROM ELDERLY CLIENT   A 71-year-old retired South Bay podiatrist/financial advisor has been charged with embezzling close to $900,000 of an elderly client’s life savings.   Dr. Roger P. Hertzberg convinced the San Jose woman that he had invested her money safely in money market funds and real estate all over the country. Investigators believe he spent the money on himself.   Earlier this month, a District Attorney’s investigator discovered Hertzberg, a fugitive with a $1 million warrant for his arrest here and a no bail warrant for his arrest from a case in Illinois, living in Las Vegas, NV. He was extradited last week and was arraigned Friday, July 29, 2016, on felony elder fraud charges. Hertzberg, who is in custody on $750,000 bail, is scheduled to enter a plea on August 4th at 1:30 in department 34 at the Santa Clara County Superior Court Hall of Justice. If convicted, he faces up to 11 years in prison.   “It’s heartbreaking how many elderly people are victimized by criminals who take advantage of their vulnerability and trust,” prosecutor Cherie Bourlard said. “Often, the perpetrators are far away and difficult to track down. As this case clearly illustrates, we still look.”      The criminal charges were the result of an investigation by the District Attorney’s Elder Financial Abuse Unit. In 2005, the victim began investing her life savings with Hertzberg, who moved from Milpitas to Nevada. The defendant promised healthy annual returns on a virtually no-risk investment. However, evidence shows virtually none of the money went into investments, but went straight into the defendant’s personal bank accounts for personal expenditures.   The victim also stated that the defendant borrowed money from her three times, without having paid much of the money back. It is a breach of fiduciary duty for an investment advisor to borrow money from a client. She also did not realize it was problematic that she never received official statements from the financial institutions the defendant professed to have invested her money. The victim did not get suspicious of the defendant until he stopped returning her calls in 2014. District Attorney Investigators learned that while the defendant, a retired podiatrist, was dealing with the victim, his California license as a financial advisor had been suspended.   ###

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