The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged Miami broker, Phil Donnahue Williamson, with defrauding investors which included local teachers and law enforcement officers.
The SEC alleged Williamson was operating a Ponzi scheme using money he raised for Sterling Investment Fund. Williamson purported the funds would be invested in mortgages and properties throughout Florida and Georgia. He also allegedly told investors that there was “no risk” and that they should see returns between 8 to 12 percent. Unfortunately for investors, Williamson allegedly spent most of the funds on personal expenses and paying supposed returns to investors. To conceal his misconduct, Williamson purportedly sent investors fictitious valuations he created.
According to the SEC’s complaint, on the same day he received $125,000 from a retired Miami-Dade school teacher, he transferred $10,000 to pay his credit card bill and make a car payment.
Williamson agreed to settle the charges with the SEC and pay $748,050 in disgorgement. However, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida have filed criminal charges against Williamson.
The White Law Group is investigating the liability that Williamson’s employers may have for failure to properly supervise his activities. When brokers lure clients into investment opportunities not authorized by their affiliated broker-dealer firm, the act can be considered “selling away.” If it is demonstrated that a broker has been “selling away,” the brokerage firm may be liable for negligent supervision and responsible for investment losses.
According to BrokerCheck, Williamson worked in Florida with MML Investors from 12/1995 – 01/2004 and OneAmerica Securities from 12/2003 – 06/2010. More recently, he worked with the broker-dealer Hartford Equity Sales Company from 06/2011 – 08/2012.
If you invested with Williamson while he was a registered broker and would like to discuss your litigation options, please call the securities attorney of The White Law Group at (772) 242-9330 for a free consultation. The White Law Group, LLC is a national securities fraud, securities arbitration, investor protection/compliance law firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Vero Beach, Florida.
To learn more about The White Law Group, visit www.WhiteSecuritesLaw.com.