Ex-Merrill Lynch Investment Adviser Accused of Stealing $1.7M

Marcus Boggs, a former Merrill Lynch investment adviser, is now facing US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charges accusing him of using $1.7M of client monies to pay his own credit card bills. According to the regulator, Boggs, who was a Chicago-based RIA, illegally transferred funds from the accounts of three retail advisory clients on more than 200 occasions.

The firm fired him after finding out about the alleged misconduct, which would have taken place between 2016 and December 2018. Boggs was a registered investment adviser (RIA) with Merrill for 12 years, which was the entire time that he worked in the securities industry.

His job was to offer investment advice to clients, and Boggs didn’t have the authority or permission to liquidate the assets or trade in his alleged victims’ accounts. However, he allegedly went on to sell securities in said accounts and directly take money out of them for his own use.

One of these retail investors was reportedly Shaine Sharp, a man who received a $5M wrongful conviction settlement after he served 10 years in prison for a rape and murder he did not commit. Boggs allegedly took $815K from Sharp individual to pay credit card bill. CBS Chicago, however, reports that the former investment adviser may have stolen all of Sharp’s settlement.

During the time of the alleged fraud, Boggs reportedly took luxury trips to different parts of the world. His BrokerCheck record shows three customer claims that have already been settled. All of them involved the unauthorized transfers from client accounts to his credit card. Earlier this year, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority  (FINRA) barred Boggs from associating with any brokerage firm or serving as a broker. He was recently charged in a parallel criminal fraud case in Illinois federal court.

Investment Adviser Accused of $300K Fraud
Richard G. Duncan, an investment adviser, is accused of defrauding two elderly clients. Duncan allegedly convinced them to invest more than $300K in a supposed investment opportunity in Turkey that proved to be fraudulent. The SEC has filed civil charges against him.

According to the regulator’s complaint, Duncan promised his clients up to 100% returns if  they would give a Turkish woman, who he sometimes referred to as his fiancée or girlfriend, money to cover her legal expenses after he was tasked with managing $6M that she inherited after her father died. One client invested $250K. The other client invested more than $28K. Now, both investors have lost all these funds.

The SEC is accusing Duncan of violating his fiduciary duty to clients, while ignoring two banks’ warnings that the supposed investment opportunity was likely a fraud, and of making materially false and misleading statements to a client.

Duncan is currently not registered as an investment adviser. He was fired earlier this year by an Iowa-based investment advisory firm after finding out about the alleged scam. His BrokerCheck record shows that he worked in the industry for over three decades in the industry, during which time he had been registered with LPL Financial (LPLA), New England Securities, Linsco Financial, Hanover Concepts, Wellesley Financial Management, Cardell & Associates, Transamerica Financial, and CG Equity Sales Company.

Investment Advisor Fraud
At Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LLP (SSEK Law Firm), we represent investment advisory fraud clients in helping them to recoup their losses caused by fraud or negligence. Contact SSEK Law Firm to request your free, no obligation case consultation.

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