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Investment Fraud in Illinois: Why You Need an Illinois Securities Attorney Chicago landscape

A recent case of stock fraud in Illinois illustrates why you may need an Illinois securities attorney. After a man who had been wrongfully convicted of and imprisoned for a murder received a $5 million settlement, he entrusted it with Chicago-based investment advisor Marcus Boggs and Marcus Boggs’ investment firm. But instead of investing it so that this man could live the rest of his life in financial security, Marcus Boggs allegedly stole the funds for his own use. He siphoned over $800,000 into his own accounts to pay off credit card debt, according to a Department of Justice press release dated August 27, 2019 announcing Marcus Boggs’ August 22, 2019 arrest for securities fraud. This alleged victim told the FBI that he was unfamiliar with investing, and thus trusted Marcus Boggs to manage his accounts. Boggs allegedly stole from three other clients, allegedly using funds from their brokerage accounts to pay his mortgage and credit card debts. A second alleged victim had been Boggs’ client for over ten years and developed a close friendship with him. While the FBI complaint does not name Boggs’ firm, a search on BrokerCheck reveals that he worked for Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Smith Incorporated. According to Boggs’ BrokerCheck record, he was also barred from the securities industry by FINRA on April 15, 2019 after he failed to respond to FINRA’s request for information.

While Marcus Boggs is of course innocent until proven guilty, this startling case illustrates how certain financial advisors take advantage of investors, whether they be sophisticated or inexperienced. The investment world is complex, and if you fear you may have been the victim of investment fraud, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact an Illinois securities attorney. While you should always contact an Illinois securities attorney if you have questions about stock fraud in Illinois, it is also important to understand how Illinois state regulators try to stop broker fraud in the first place.

How Illinois Protects Investors from Broker Fraud

The Illinois Secretary of State runs the Department of Securities, regulating the sale of securities, licensing brokerage firms to operate in Illinois, and protecting investors. The Department employs a team of enforcement investigators to investigate complaints and a team of attorneys to issue subpoenas. By conducting scheduled and unscheduled audits of Illinois broker-dealers, the State makes sure that firms are operating within the bounds of the law. They provide information on Unit Investment Trust filings, Reg. D offerings, crowdfunding, business opportunities, and other resources of interest to investment professionals, investors, and the public.

The Department also assists law enforcement in enforcing securities laws in Illinois. The most important of these state laws is the Illinois Securities Law of 1953, which defines what constitutes a securities offering, outlines the procedure by which brokers, investment advisors, broker-dealers, and the securities themselves may be registered in Illinois.

Through its website, the Illinois Department of State also provides educational resources to help investors protect themselves from financial fraud. The Illinois Secretary of State, Jesse White, warns investors, “Check before you invest. Remember when investing, like the saying goes 'if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is'." This is an especially helpful reminder for elderly investors, who are particularly vulnerable to financial exploitation.

The Illinois Secretary of State Department of Securities plays an important role in investor protection and consumer advocacy, but its role is relatively limited. If you are seeking to recover funds lost through securities fraud, nothing compares to having an Illinois securities attorney by your side. Only securities attorneys can recover lost funds, so don’t hesitate in retaining counsel.

Next Step: Contact an Illinois Securities Attorney

While investing can be exciting and a potential way to build wealth, it is important to stay informed about fraud so that you can protect yourself and safeguard your financial future.

If you fear you may have been a victim of a financial crime involving investment fraud, please contact the experienced securities attorneys of Fitapelli Kurta. Our securities fraud attorneys have worked with investors from Illinois. Whether you’re in Chicago, Springfield, Peoria, Naperville, Evanston, Joliet, Galesburg, or any other city or town in Illinois, we’re here to help you. We only get paid if you do. Our attorneys work on contingency: we only collect a fee from clients if we can recover money on their behalf. Call (877) 238-4175 or email for your free case consultation.