Dunkerley Named in $43 Million Dollar Fraud Scheme Tied to LAFC Soccer Team Owner

Attorney Advising Disclaimer

In an alleged fraud with ties to a major Southern California professional sports team, The SEC named former Burnham Securities (Irvine, CA) broker Hugh David Dunkerley as one of nine individuals who carried out a multi-million fraud scheme in which the group allegedly stole $43 million from the Wakpamni Lake Native American tribal corporation.

The federal securities regulator also named former UBS Financial (San Diego) broker Francisco Jose Martin (CRD #3269853), Michelle Morton (CRD #1123062), and non-registered individuals Devon Archer, Bevan Cooney, John Galanis, Gary Hirst, and Jason Sugarman as defendants in parallel fraud charges, across both criminal and civil cases.

Charged with multiple counts of securities fraud, Sugarman is a co-owner of the Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC), a Major League Soccer team also co-owned by Magic Johnson, Will Ferrell, and Mia Hamm. Other co-owners of LAFC include Peter Guber, Tucker Kain, and Lon Rosen, who alongside Magic Johnson are or were connected to the Los Angeles Dodgers, whose Guggenheim Partners ownership group is facing allegations of securities fraud related to its acquisition of the baseball team.

Regulators deemed the Southern California-based Sugarman "the biggest winner" of the fraudulent scheme, in which Sugarman and his purported co-conspirators allegedly purchased investment advisory firms "for the sole purpose of looting client funds."

The complaint identified Hughes Capital Management, LLC and Atlantic Asset Management LLC as firms Sugarman purchased in the furtherance of the scheme. Hughes Capital, for instance, managed approximately $900 million for various pensions at the time Sugarman purchased it.

Dunkerley's employer, Burnham Securities, served as placement agent for the aforementioned tribal bonds.

The SEC also barred Dunkerley (CRD #5081191) in June 2019 after Dunkerley's multiple penny stock-related guilty pleas, including securities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, bankruptcy fraud, and falsification of records to obstruct a government investigation; registered representatives Martin and Morton's dispositions remain pending, though neither are presently registered as a broker.

SEC's litigation against Dunkerley et al alleges that the group defrauded investors through purported investments in sham Native American tribal bonds and annuities by siphoning at least $43 million in client funds to a bank account belonging to a company controlled by one of the defendants.

Investigators alleged that the defendants used the misappropriated funds on luxury purchases and to pay attorneys in a tangentially related stock fraud case brought by the SEC.

If you have invested with Hugh David Dunkerley or with any broker or financial adviser whose failure to execute a transaction as directed or who, instead of purchasing securities as requested, misappropriated or converted your funds for personal use, resulting in losses or other harm and damages to your investments or interests, please call our experienced FINRA arbitration attorneys at The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for an investigation and consultation.

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