SEC Announces Charges Against Compliance Director Accused of Defrauding Investors and Stealing Brokerage Firm Assets
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced fraud charges against a Long Island man accused of fleecing investors and stealing money from a brokerage firm where he worked as the director of compliance.
The SEC’s Enforcement Division alleges that William Quigley was involved in a scheme to solicit investors to buy stock in well-known companies or supposed start-ups on the verge of going public, but the securities were never actually purchased for them. Instead, after investors wired their funds to bank and brokerage accounts that Quigley set up and controlled, the money was quickly wired to a bank account in the Philippines or withdrawn in small increments from ATM machines in the vicinity of Quigley’s home and office. Quigley allegedly worked in concert with two brothers who live in the Philippines and handled the solicitation aspects of the scheme while he funneled investor money out of the accounts to his brothers and himself.
The SEC’s Enforcement Division alleges that Quigley opened three brokerage accounts to misappropriate investor funds, including a secret account at his then-employer Trident Partners Ltd. It was Quigley’s job as compliance director to open and properly route all incoming mail as well as to monitor all wires and report any suspicious transfers. Quigley allegedly abused his position to keep Trident Partners from learning about the secret account and its corresponding wires, and he stole commission checks to Trident Partners and deposited them in outside accounts he used in the scheme.
“We allege a classic situation of the fox guarding the henhouse as William Quigley subverted his position of trust as compliance director and stole money from investors and his own firm,” said Andrew M. Calamari, Director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office.
The matter will be scheduled for a public hearing before an administrative law judge for proceedings to adjudicate the Enforcement Division’s allegations and determine what, if any, remedial actions are appropriate.
The Enforcement Division charges Quigley with violating antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws, and with causing, and aiding and abetting violations of the antifraud provisions. Quigley also is charged with causing and aiding and abetting violations by Trident of federal securities law provisions that require broker-dealers to report transactions involving, among other things, funds derived from illegal activity.
In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York today announced criminal charges against William Quigley.
The Enforcement Division’s investigation is continuing and being conducted by Michael Paley, Howard Fischer, Susannah Dunn, and George N. Stepaniuk of the New York office. The case is being supervised by Sanjay Wadhwa and the litigation will be led by Mr. Fischer. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, and Federal Bureau of Investigation.