The owner of a Waterloo financial planning company was visibly distraught and sobbing during a court appearance Thursday.

Jennifer Killins, also known as Jenn Stokes, was arrested Wednesday in the culmination of a 14-month police investigation.

She was charged with several counts of fraud, theft and forgery, with some of the incidents stretching back to 2008.

Police say they began receiving complaints about Killins, 38, and her business, Dollars and Sense Financial Group, in October 2011. Complainants alleged that Killins took money from clients to invest with a specific financial institution but never invested the funds, fraudulently redeemed clients’ RRSPs and fraudulently obtained RRSP loans in the clients’ names.

Police also allege that Killins used false financial documents to fraudulently obtain a mortgage.

Police believe Killins solicited approximately $1.5 million from 22 victims between October 2008 and November 2012.

"It's about [$1.3 million] of definite loss with the potential of an additional $200,000 that they're looking at right now," said fraud investigator Sgt. Robert Cowan.

"It was fairly sophisticated. Our investigators did a great job, with the assistance of the parties involved and the stakeholders."

Killins used to operate Dollars and Sense out of a strip mall in Waterloo, sharing office space with Mortgage Intelligence broker Donna Morrison. That lasted until January 2012, when Morrison decided she wanted to disconnect from Killins completely.

"I felt it best to sever my relationship with her," Morrison told CTV.

After that, Killins continued to operate Dollars and Sense Financial Group from her home in Toronto.

In 2011, Killins had her mutual fund licence revoked after it was found that she solicited $98,000 from a client to invest in her own company. She was fined $55,000 in that incident.

On her website, Killins bills herself as a financial expert, a motivational speaker and an author who can educate and entertain.

Facing various charges of fraud, theft, forgery and attempted fraud, Killins will be back in court Friday to be appointed special counsel, and will remain in custody until a bail hearing next Monday.

A publication ban will be in effect for any evidence presented.