Federal prosecutors alleged that a Palm Beach Gardens Broker stole over $500,000 from 13 clients utilizing a mail fraud scheme. The scheme allegedly took place between July 2003 and September 2011 during which time William T. Johnson was registered with Kovack Securities Inc between 2002 and 2009 and Next Financial Group Inc. from May 2010 until June 2010.
Mr. Johnson started Professional Planning Group as a company which would provide its clients with investment and insurance products. He allegedly told his clients that he would invest their money in certificate of deposits (CDs), Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and short term commercial paper. Clients would write a check in the name of the company which Mr. Johnson would then proceed to deposit and then he would allegedly switch the money into another account. The money would then be used for his personal benefit, as well as to pay interest on the accounts from earlier clients. The federal prosecutors have accused Mr. Johnson of sending “bogus account statements to his clients, which showed that the investors’ money had been deposited into investment accounts and that the deposit had earned interest” according to the Palm Beach Post.
Mr. Johnson’s Attorney has indicated that he expects his client to settle the charges via plea, stating that “this is a difficult time in my client’s life and he is wanting to put this behind him”. Investors who fell victims to Mr. Johnson’s scheme have already launched arbitration cases with FINRA, with at least one currently pending against Kovack Securities Inc.
If you were a victim of this scheme, please contact Sonn & Erez to explore your legal options. Sonn & Erez is a nationally recognized law firm representing individuals, trusts, corporations and institutions in claims against brokerage firms, banks and insurance companies. For more information, you may call toll free 1-844-689-5754 or 954-763-4700.