Kirkland broker vanishes amid investigations

Kirkland broker vanishes amid investigations
KIRKLAND, Wash. -- A popular Eastside broker and financial planner is under investigation after some of her clients reported not being able to find their money or their broker.

Now police and state officials are asking questions about Rhonda Breard, founder of Breard Associates and Wealth Management in Kirkland.

But there's one question no one can answer: Where is Rhonda Breard?

She hasn't been seen since Feb. 10 when she abruptly shuttered her office after at least two clients alleged their money was gone. KOMO News has learned that on the day Beard abruptly went underground, she lost her broker dealer agreement with ING Financial.

In one ad, Breard claims her goal is "to educate families, to recognize problems and implement solutions with them."

That's the Breard her clients knew. She was highly visible, regularly selling her services in TV ads and always available to her clients. But that changed earlier this month.

Brian Steel put his life savings in Breard's hands. He's been uneasy since Breard disappeared.

"I have concerns about her and the company," he said.

Two other Breard clients have claimed they can't find Breard or their money. Kirkland police are investigating a complaint from a client, who alleges Breard bilked him out of his life savings.

The state Department of Financial Institutions also began looking into Beard after her broker dealer agreement with ING was terminated.

ING facilitated all of Breard's financial transactions. Without a firm to run her transactions, Breard can't conduct business. The company told state officials it dumped Breard for allegedly altering customer statements.

A client of Breard's made a similar complaint to the state, alleging statements were altered and that ING told him it had no record of his investment.

Steel, who owns a specialty car business, says ING told him his money is safe. But he wants Breard to return all of his sensitive documents.

But Breard's Kirkland office is dark , and no one has been answering the phone.

Breard has three homes valued at $5 million. She could not be found at any of them.

According to two independent sources, Breard attempted suicide the day she ING terminated their relationship.

For clients like Steel, who put their future in her hands, the developments are troubling, to say the least.

"When you have an investment that represents a lifetime of work and inheritance that you're counting on for retirement, it's very concerning," he said.

State officials are also investigating allegations of mishandling of customer checks by Breard. Officials are urging any of her clients to contact them immediately.