James Unger Charged with Defrauding client for $287,000
According to federal prosecutors, James Unger, 51, allegedly defrauded a client out of $287,000 in a high-risk international casino investment scheme.
Unger was reportedly charged in federal court with two counts of wire fraud and five counts of filing false tax returns, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Northern District of Ohio. Unger allegedly used the stolen funds to pay for his daughter’s college expenses and to reimburse other clients.
Prosecutors allege that Unger convinced his client to invest in an international casino project by promising that the investment was safe as well as lucrative.
Unger reportedly gave the client a number of promissory notes guaranteeing a 15% yearly rate of return, according to court documents. He then allegedly used the funds for other purposes, according to prosecutors.
The prosecutor alleges that when Unger’s client was ready to get her money back in 2014, she realized all the funds were gone. She reportedly believed her investment plus earnings was supposed to be $1.9 million.
In addition to wire fraud, Unger is also purportedly facing charges for filings false tax returns, since he allegedly failed to report the illegal income he gained from client funds, according to the court documents.
According to his FINRA BrokerCheck records, FINRA barred Unger in 2014. Unger purportedly borrowed at least $219,000 from a customer without his member firm’s approval, according to a disclosure filed with FINRA. Additionally, Unger made false statements on annual compliance questionnaires and even used blank, pre-signed forms to make ongoing distributions from the client accounts without generating new paperwork, FINRA states.
Unger was registered most recently with Financial America Securities in Cleveland, Ohio. There are three customer disputes listed on his broker report. Allegations include selling away and fraudulent conduct.
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When brokers make unsuitable investment recommendations and squander client funds, the brokerage firm that employs them may be liable for failure to supervise and responsible for investment losses.
If you were a client of James M. Unger and suffered losses, The White Law Group may be able to help you by filing a FINRA arbitration claim against the brokerage firm that sold you the investment. For a free consultation with a securities attorney call 888-637-5510.
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