SEC Charges Michigan Broker for Allegedly Misappropriating $1.15 Million of Customer FundsThursday, July 30, 2020
Mark L. Hopkins, a former registered representative associated with American Portfolios in Grand Blanc, Michigan, was recently named in a Complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Michigan for the misappropriation of at least $1.15 million from at least five customers.
Hopkins was associated with American Portfolios from July 2009 to December 2018. According to his FINRA BrokerCheck report, American Portfolios permitted Hopkins to resign after he had allegedly accepted customer funds for an investment outside of the firm and without obtaining approval from his member firm to conduct an outside business activity.
The SEC alleges in the Complaint that Hopkins represented to certain customers that he would place their investment funds into a program at a local credit union, promising they’d receive a quick return of six or seven percent profit within nine months. Hopkins allegedly transferred approximately $1.15 million for the purported investment program, but the program did not exist. Instead, Hopkins transferred customer funds into an account at the credit union that he controlled. According to the complaint, to further disguise the misappropriation, Hopkins provided falsified account statements to these customers.
The SEC requests in the complaint that the Court issue findings and fact and conclusions of law that Mark Hopkins committed the alleged violations. The SEC also seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains with prejudgment interest and civil penalties. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority barred Hopkins from associating with member firms in May 2019.
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