LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A Las Vegas doctor lost her $750,000 retirement fund after being misled to invest the money in her investment adviser’s personal business venture, according to court documents.

Anthony Depasquale III, 44, of Southlake Texas, was recently indicted on charges of security fraud, investment adviser fraud, theft, and forgery for a case that started in 2017.

Depasquale, who has entered a not-guilty plea, is accused of getting the doctor to invest her money into Big Whiskey’s, a franchised restaurant that would be located in Town Square shopping center. The indictment says Depasquale told her, he already had five other investors who each invested $750,000, which was not true. The indictment adds that Depasquale “falsely represented” that the investment had little to no risks and failed to reveal he had been denied a small business loan to open the restaurant.

“This individual was a licensed investment adviser who allegedly defrauded a Nevada physician out of her life savings. The victim worked nonstop helping sick patients and will now have to work much longer to recoup the stolen funds,” said Nevada Secretary of State Francisco Aguilar.

Depasquale has since lost his license. He is scheduled to go to trial on March 24, 2024.

DePasquale’s attorneys Matthew Dushoff and Will Gonzales issued the following statement:

We’re disappointed to see that the State has chosen to litigate this matter in the press in an effort to improperly poison Clark County citizens against Mr. Anthony DePasquale III before any evidence is presented. We look forward to defending Mr. DePasquale against the allegations contained in the indictment in Court, not the media.

Matthew Dushoff and Will Gonzales, Saltzman Mugan Dushoff

Aguilar advises Nevadans to be on the lookout for any red flags related to potential investment opportunities.

  • Check if your investment adviser’s license is current online at this link.
  • Ask yourself: “Who benefits here, me or my adviser?” An adviser is not supposed to profit off of their client by asking for loans or asking for funds for personal business projects. 
  • Conduct research before investing in any private placement investment, which can be riskier than other more traditional investments.   
  • Be wary if an adviser is pressuring you, calling you repeatedly and giving you quick deadlines to invest. Advisers should not make you feel pressured to make quick decisions. 
  • Do your due diligence. Even if an adviser is licensed and was referred to you by someone you trust, make sure to research them and pay attention to their actions.  
  • Check your bank account for unauthorized transactions. Bad actors may take advantage of your personal information and/or forge documents allowing them access to your accounts. 
  • Learn more with the Nevada Investor Guide: Strategies for Investing Wisely and Avoiding Financial Fraud. 

If you discover you are being scammed or think you are being scammed, report it to the Securities Division immediately.