Former Hudson Valley Capital Management co-owner Mark Joseph Gillis pleaded guilty to securities fraud after investigators charged him with scheming to steal nearly $400,000 from investors. FINRA previously barred Gillis for the suspected fraud (as did state regulators in Illinois and Nevada), after which Gillis founded Blue Line Brewery in New York. The FINRA decision alleged that Gillis effected unauthorized trades in customer accounts in order to artificially elevate, or pump, stock prices.
In pleading guilty, Gillis (CRD #2381496) admitted to purchasing a stock and subsequently transferring its shares to three of his customers at Hudson Valley, charging improper markups of 280%.
The DOJ wrote that as a result of the improper markups, Gillis stole $379,652.41 from his clients in an attempt to cover a nearly-$400,000 loss Gillis incurred while trading securities for his own benefit.
US Attorney Grant Jaquith summarized the case: "When Mark Gillis, a licensed stockbroker, lost $400,000 on his personal trades, he covered those losses by stealing more than $379,000 from his customers. He will now be held accountable for his greed."
FBI Special Agent in Charge Vadim Thomas added, "Mr. Gillis abused his position and defrauded investors of over $370,000."
If you have invested with Mark Joseph Gillis or with any firm, broker, or financial adviser who has sold you securities at artificially inflated prices, either as part of a pump-and-dump scheme or through the imposition of excessive markups, commissions, and fees, please call The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for an investigation and consultation.
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