Ex-UBS Advisor John Maccoll Bilked Clients for Almost $4M
Former UBS Group financial advisor John Maccoll has been charged by Michigan federal prosecutors with defrauding his clients out of nearly $4 million. Maccoll allegedly promised returns as high as 20 percent, but he instead pocketed clients’ money.
UBS Broker John Maccoll Misleads Investors
According to the SEC, the Detroit-based broker used high-pressure sales tactics to persuade his clients to invest in a private fund that he claimed was similar to a hedge fund. Once investors provided the money, Maccoll used it for personal expenses. He also used about $400,000 of client money to make Ponzi-like payments to certain clients to keep the scheme going.
SEC Complaint Says Maccoll Acted with Intent
The SEC complaint states that Maccoll acted with intent to deceive, evidenced by the fact that he never invested any of the money he raised from his customers. Maccoll used the name of an established family of alternative investment funds and told customers that the investment deal wasn’t available through UBS, pitching it as an exclusive opportunity. When clients agreed to invest, he told them to wire the funds to his personal accounts.
In an effort to hide the scam and encourage clients to invest more money, he lied and told clients that the investments were doing well. He also provided some clients with fake financial statements that reported fictitious returns. For others, he simply told them their portfolios were performing better than expected.
Client Alarmed by Account Statement, Scheme Unravels
According to filings, the scam unraveled in late 2017 when one of Maccoll’s clients contacted UBS and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. The client had pressed Maccoll for access to his investment account, instead, receiving an alarming fake account statement.
In March of this year, Maccoll admitted to UBS that he had misappropriated customer funds. The bank said that they fired Maccoll as soon as they learned of his actions and will be reimbursing the affected clients for their losses.
Prosecutors say Maccoll’s clients lost more than $3.7 million over an eight-year period as a result of the scheme.
Maccoll Pled Guilty for Actions
Maccoll is charged with wire fraud and is facing a parallel civil suit by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He pled not guilty in Detroit and was ordered to be released on a $10,000 unsecured bond.
Maccoll is an industry veteran with over 40 years of experience in the securities industry but his career is not without turmoil. According to FINRA’s BrokerCheck, Maccoll has 16 disclosures, including numerous customer disputes dating back as early as 1990. The disclosures include complaints of unauthorized trading, forgery, and suitability.
Have You Lost Money as a result of UBS Broker John Maccoll?
If you lost money investing with former UBS broker John Maccoll or think you may be the victim of stockbroker misconduct, contact an experienced investment fraud attorney today.
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