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Former Wisconsin financial advisor pleads guilty to charges of defrauding his clients

On Behalf of | Jun 6, 2022 | Financial Advisor Misconduct

A former Wisconsin financial advisor pleaded guilty in federal court recently to charges of defrauding his clients through a number of misrepresentations, according to ThinkAdvisor.

32-year-old Michael Francis Shillin, a former broker with Raymond James Financial and Alliance Global Partners, was accused of engaging in the fraudulent activities over a seven-year period.

In a complaint filed last September in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Shillin lied to his clients repeatedly about a variety of securities products. Authorities said he told clients he had purchased nonpublic stock of certain coveted companies for them and made them significant profits when in fact he had not purchased the stocks at all.

The SEC also said Shillin fabricated documents and sold nonexistent life insurance policies to clients, including one who had cancer. According to the complaint, several clients were encouraged by Shillin to shift existing life insurance policies into new policies. As a result, they had to sell securities to pay premiums for non-existent policies or ones that had far fewer benefits than Shillin claimed, the SEC said. He allegedly gained hundreds of thousands of dollars as the result of his actions.

In addition, Shillin was charged with defrauding a bank by obtaining two loans totaling $462,000 on behalf of his financial advisory firm, Shillin Wealth Management, by using fraudulent collateral.  He was accused of providing an account statement showing that Shillin Wealth Management owned an account with a balance of over $1.2 million, when in fact a client owned and controlled the account.

Shillin was indicted in October by a federal grand jury on nine counts of wire fraud and one count of bank fraud. As part of a plea agreement reached with the U.S. Justice Department, he agreed to plead guilty to one count of wire fraud for which he would serve up to 20 years in prison and one count of bank fraud, which would leave him facing up to 30 years behind bars. Shillin also agreed to five years of supervised release and a $1.25 million fine. He is scheduled to be sentenced on August. 25.
Shillin had been granted pretrial probation but it was revoked after he allegedly took an unauthorized trip to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

He was barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority after refusing FINRA’s request for testimony on the record, as well as information or documents related to the case. He was also permanently barred from the financial services industry by the SEC.

The attorneys at Lewitas Hyman are uniquely qualified to represent individual investors in investment-related claims against financial professionals and their firms. Our attorneys understand the financial and emotional ramifications of investment losses caused by financial professionals. If you have suffered losses as a result of misconduct by your financial professional or their firms, contact Lewitas Hyman at (888) 655 6002 or through our online contact form for a free consultation.