On November 8, 2012, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority issued a news release stating that it has barred Mark Gillis, Chief Executive Officer for Hudson Valley Capital Management, and expelled the firm itself for defrauding its customers. The fraud occurred when funds and securities were used to cover losses incurred by manipulative day trading executed by Gillis. Securities fraud attorneys are following this and other unauthorized trading cases for potential arbitration claims to recover losses for investors.
According to FINRA’s findings, in 2012, Hudson Valley, through Gillis, improperly day traded stock worth millions using the firm’s Average Price Account. Following the improper trades, Gillis manipulated the stocks’ share prices and withdrew his day trading proceeds using accounts under his control. Following significant losses caused by this fraudulent trading, Gillis made unauthorized trades in customer accounts in order to cover the losses. Thousands of shares in securities were purchased by Gillis and then allocated to customers at excessive markups from 177 percent to 280 percent. In addition, he paid for an unauthorized purchase of stock by converting customer funds. One customer suffered losses of around $400,000 because of Gillis’ fraudulent activity.
When two customers became aware of unauthorized trading in their accounts, they confronted Gillis, who attempted to hide his misconduct by lying to them. He later lied during sworn testimony to FINRA staff. Investment fraud lawyers stress to investors the importance of diligently monitoring their accounts and statements for fraudulent activity. If investors suspect unauthorized trading or any other type of securities fraud has occurred in their accounts, they should contact a securities fraud attorney immediately.
If, after reviewing your account statements, you believe your representative broker or firm has committed fraud through unauthorized trading, you may be able to recover your losses through securities arbitration. To find out more about your legal rights and options, contact an investment fraud lawyer at The Law Office of Christopher J. Gray at (866) 966-9598 for a no-cost, confidential consultation.