Earlier this month, the SEC accused former Michigan broker Lewis J. Hunter of using false and misleading statements to misappropriate an estimated $300,000 from at least two brokerage clients. The SEC has alleged that Hunter used the ill-gotten funds to pay his own personal and business expenses.
According to the SEC, Hunter was a registered representative with HD Vest Investment Securities, Inc. from Nov. 15, 2006 through Oct. 19, 2011. Though Hunter is from Detroit, the company was doing business as H.D. Vest Investment Services, a registered broker-dealer headquartered in Irving, Texas.
On Dec. 31, 2007, while he was a registered representative with HD Vest Investment Securities, Hunter became a partner in National Business Concepts LLC (“NBC”), a purported accounting, bookkeeping, tax preparation, and business consulting and management firm in Niles, Michigan. Allegedly, the firm’s subsidiary, National Business Concepts International-CME Trade Group LLC (“NBCI”), was involved in funding foreign currency trading.
By 2010, Hunter owned approximately 9% of NBC, had signing privileges on at least some of NBCI’s bank accounts, and controlled NBCI’s brokerage account.
According to the SEC, Hunter used his position as a registered representative with HD Vest Investment Securities to defraud his HD Vest clients and funnel money to NBCI.
In its order, the SEC alleged that Hunter, in or around Sept. 2010, recommended a “guaranteed” investment in a “Canadian bank” to two long-time, elderly clients. He allegedly told the clients that their investment had to be funded and held outside of their HD Vest brokerage account because the investment wasn’t offered on HD Vest’s trading platform.
On Sept. 27, 2010, Hunter allegedly had $150,000 wired from the clients’ HD Vest brokerage account into a bank account held by NBCI. The clients were unaware of the transfer.
When the clients uncovered Hunter’s actions, he allegedly lied and said he used the money to purchase a “Guaranteed Investment Certificate” issued by HSBC Bank Canada.
The SEC claims Hunter told the clients that the GIC would render monthly interest payments of 15% for a period of two years. Less than six months later, he allegedly had another $100,000 of the clients’ funds wired to an NBCI bank account. Once again, he allegedly told the clients that the funds were used for a GIC.
According to the SEC’s order, Hunter never invested any of the clients’ funds as represented. Instead, he allegedly distributed fabricated bank statements and other documentations to conceal his allegedly fraudulent actions.
The SEC also has accused Hunter of running the same investment scam on another long-time, elderly client. Based on Hunter’s recommendation and representations, the client agreed to invest $54,000 in US Bank.
Hunter allegedly told the investor his investment had to be funded and held outside of his HD Vest brokerage account but that the investment was “guaranteed” and he couldn’t lose money.
Instead of investing the funds as promised, however, Hunter allegedly deposited the money into an NBC account under his control. The SEC has claimed that he then used the money for his personal and business expenses. According to the SEC, the victim never received any interest payments of any kind.
A public hearing to determine the truth of the SEC’s allegations will be held sometime in the next two months. In the meantime, if you invested with Lewis J. Hunter, or find yourself in a similar investment loss situation, the Meyer Wilson may be able to help you recover your losses. Meyer Wilson attorneys have been hired by clients with cases regarding potential liabilities that HD Vest might have for improperly supervising Lewis Hunter.
The Meyer Wilson has been hired to represent clients with claims related to the allegedly fraudulent actions of former Michigan broker Lewis J. Hunter.
The investment fraud lawyers at Meyer Wilson devote their practice to representing investors who have claims against brokerage firms, such as HD Vest Investment Securities. We have represented hundreds of investors in Ohio, Michigan, California, Texas, and across the country – and the firm has recovered millions of dollars on the behalf of investors like you in securities arbitration and litigation cases.