SEC Charges Michigan Broker Involved in $1.15 Million Fraud
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed charges against former registered representative broker Mark Hopkins of Grand Blanc, Michigan, for stealing roughly $1.15 million from customers.
According to his FINRA BrokerCheck record, the firm he was associated with, American Portfolios Financial Services, allowed him to resign in December 2018 for “accepting customer funds for an investment not on the books of the broker-dealer without obtaining pre-approval.”
As a result, in May 2019, FINRA barred Hopkins for failing to comply with its request for information regarding said actions.
Hopkins Convinced Customers with False Scheme
Based on the SEC’s complaint, the Grand Blanc broker convinced five customers that he would invest their funds in a short-term investment program at a local credit union that could return 6%-7% profit. As a result, they transferred a total of $1.15 million to Hopkins for investment.
According to the complaint, the investment program never existed, and Mr. Hopkins deposited the funds in an account he managed at the credit union.
Authorities allege that Mr. Hopkins presented the customers with falsified account statements to conceal his fraud and seek injunctive relief, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains and prejudgment interest, and civil money penalties.
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