The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a cease-and-desist action against former Detroit, Michigan H.D. Vest stockbroker Lewis J. Hunter.
The SEC claims that Lewis J. Hunter tricked his brokerage clients into believing that they owned various outside investments. The SEC says that these investments were, in fact, a sham, and that Hunter instead used his clients' funds to pay personal and business expenses. He also used these funds to make personal loans to other victims according to the action.
Hunter was registered as a broker with securities firm HD Vest Investment Securities Inc., a registered broker-dealer based out of Texas. The SEC cites at least two HD Vest brokerage customers who were victimized by Hunter. In one instance, the SEC says that Hunter wired $150,000 directly from his client’s HD Vest brokerage account into the outside bank account of an entity that Hunter controlled, National Business Concepts International-CME Trade Group, LLC ("NBCI").
Allegedly, this wire transfer was made without the client's knowledge or permission. When the client confronted Hunter about the unauthorized transfer, Hunter told the client that he used the money to purchase a "Guaranteed Investment Certificate" ("GIC") purportedly issued by HSBC Bank Canada that would pay the client guaranteed monthly interest payments of 15 percent for two years. In reality, shortly after the money was wired into Hunter's bank account, the money was then wired into a forex brokerage account also controlled by Hunter.
Hunter tried to cover up his fraud by sending to his client various fake account statements and other documents. In another instance, Hunter got a client to sign a wire transfer form authorizing the transfer of $54,000 from the client's HD Vest brokerage account into an investment to be held at US Bank. The client's money was instead wired from the client's HD Vest brokerage account into a Scottrade account held in the name of yet another Hunter-owned entity, National Business Concepts, LLC ("NBC").
Hunter's reported actions violate the rules of the securities industry. Hunter's clients may have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in investments due to HD Vest's failure to properly supervise him. Investors who lost money as a result of Hunter's actions may be able to recover their losses through a FINRA dispute resolution claim.
Although the SEC has filed an action against Hunter, it is important to understand that in order to recover money lost as the result of Mr. Hunter's alleged fraud, you MUST file your own action .