SEC Charges Wisconsin Investment Advisor with Defrauding Clients

Litigation Release No. 25218 / September 23, 2021

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Michael F. Shillin, No. 3:21-cv-00601 (W.D. WI. September 23, 2021)

The Securities and Exchange Commission today filed a litigated action charging Michael F. Shillin, a resident of Appleton, Wisconsin, with defrauding at least 100 investment advisory clients.

According to the SEC's complaint, Shillin, while acting as an investment adviser, fabricated documents and made misrepresentations to clients, many of whom were elderly. As alleged, Shillin misrepresented that certain clients had successfully subscribed for IPO or pre-IPO shares in high-profile companies when they had not, and lied to clients about the true value of their investment portfolios. The complaint alleges that Shillin encouraged several advisory clients to roll over their existing life insurance policies into new policies, which caused certain clients to sell securities in order to pay premiums for policies that were non-existent or had far fewer benefits than Shillin claimed. Finally, the complaint alleges that Shillin received hundreds of thousands of dollars in ill-gotten gains as a result of his fraudulent conduct.

The SEC's complaint, filed in federal court in the Western District of Wisconsin, charges Shillin with violating the antifraud provisions of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and Sections 206(1) and (2) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. The SEC seeks injunctive relief, disgorgement with prejudgment interest, a civil penalty, and a bar against Shillin serving as an officer or director of a public company.

The SEC's investigation, which is ongoing, was conducted by Meredith J. Laval, Scott J. Hlavacek, and Carl Harris, and supervised by Amy S. Cotter of the Chicago Regional Office. Jonathan S. Polish will lead the litigation.

The SEC appreciates the assistance of the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions - Division of Securities, the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and the Eau Claire Wisconsin Police Department.