A Michigan man has pleaded guilty to pretending to be a broker and defrauding investors out of millions of dollars, reports ThnkAdvisor.
37-year-old Joshua Louis Rupp pleaded guilty to securities fraud last week in federal court in Michigan. Authorities said that between 2015 and 2019, Rupp misrepresented himself to investors as a licensed broker or trader at two different firms in order to convince them to invest money with him. He concocted fictitious people who he worked for at the firms and claimed one of them was his uncle, according to court documents. He also fabricated documents, including a fake securities license, in order to convince investors he was a legitimate broker.
Rupp took in approximately $2.7 million from at least 19 investors and used over $500,000 of it to pay for his personal expenses. The rest of the funds were lost in securities trades.
Rupp signed a plea agreement last month, agreeing to pay his victims full restitution for the money they had lost. He will be sentenced next March by a U.S. district judge and faces up to 25 years in prison. He could also face up to five years of supervised release.
Andrew Birge, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Michigan, released a statement that read in part, “This defendant misrepresented his qualifications to trade on behalf of investors in order to obtain money, lied about the performance of their investments, and misappropriated significant portions of the investments for his own personal gain.”
In July, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil complaint against Rupp for securities fraud related to the same misconduct. The SEC charged Rupp with violating the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws and acting as an unregistered broker. The case was put on hold while the criminal case was pending.
Lewitas Hyman routinely represents investors harmed when financial professionals and their firms engaged in misconduct that caused their clients investment losses. Our team includes securities fraud lawyers who have worked for large financial institutions. If you think your financial professional or firm engaged in misconduct that caused you investment losses, contact us at (888) 655 6002 or through our online contact form for a no-cost evaluation of your matter.