The Securities Exchange Commission has charged John C. MacColl, an ex USB broker, with investment fraud. According to SEC charges, MacColl allegedly defrauded over 15 investors by using high pressure sales tactics to create a type of hedge fund and Ponzi scheme. He allegedly persuaded people to invest in what he told clients was a highly-sought-after private fund with investment returns as high as 20 percent. Investors lost $4 million in investment funds.
Most of MacColl's alleged victims were elderly adults. One elderly woman invested her life savings, as well as money received from her deceased husband’s life insurance payment, which she planned to use for college tuition and expenses for her three children. MacColl allegedly promised his clients portfolio diversity and high profits which he substantiated with false account statements that reflected inflated fund performance. To avoid suspicion, clients claim they were told there was limited information about the investment fund such as trade confirmations and a prospectus.
MacColl allegedly instructed investors to take out a line of credit against or sell securities in their accounts. Allegations state that clients were then instructed to deposit those withdrawals into their personal bank accounts and write checks made payable to “Mac 01” or “Mac 001.” According to allegations, MacCall then picked up the checks from his clients, added his name to the payee line, and deposited the checks into his personal account. Between 2008 and 2018, MacColl allegedly collected $4 million in illegal profits, using the money for personal expenses. Over $400,000 allegedly went to pay investors in his Ponzi scheme.
After numerous investor complaints were filed and MacColl was notified by FINRA, he wrote a lengthy letter admitting to misappropriating client funds and giving details. FINRA BrokerCheck records show that 12 customer disputes were settled for $1.93 million in damages, while two remain pending for alleged damages of $1.51 million. On March 2018, MacColl was terminated by USB and barred by FINRA. Since then, criminal charges have been filed in Michigan.
Victims of investment fraud can often recover damages, including investment principal, expected gains if money had been properly invested, arbitration costs, attorney's fees, and punitive damages for egregious broker misconduct by filing a claim with an investment fraud attorney. Call Meyer Wilson at (614) 532-4576 today to discuss your legal options if you lost money investing with this former broker.