The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Ohio recently announced the charging of former First American broker Thomas Brenner (Orrville, OH) with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, securities fraud and engaging in a monetary transaction in property derived from criminal activity.
According to the DOJ indictment, Thomas Brenner was a financial broker-dealer and president of First American Securities, Inc., which was located in Orrville, OH. In March of 2015, it is alleged that Brenner and others conspired to recruit the Brenner’s clients to “invest” in United RL Capital Services, LLC, which is a company that purportedly financed medical laboratory developments.
It is alleged that Brenner solicited investors in multiple ways: by phone, through letters and in person. According to the indictment, Thomas Brenner misrepresented material information to the investors, including that investors’ money would finance medical laboratory developments, investors would receive their money back with interest after three years and that URL was as safe or safer than other existing investments.
Moreover, there are allegations that Brenner encouraged some investors to remove money from their IRAs to invest in United Capital Services and that Thomas Brenner misrepresented that doing so would not result in tax penalties.
The indictment describes how Thomas Brenner allegedly used investor funds for his benefit. He allegedly had large racecar-related purchases.
The indictment also alleges that when investors inquired about their investments, Thomas Brenner misrepresented that their investments were secure and provided some investors with sporadic, minimal payments, disguised as installments of earned interest, in order to lull investors into believing that their money was safe and being used as promised.
According to the indictment, the defendant allegedly knew that he was being investigated in 2015 and 2016 for selling United RL Capital Services securities by FINRA. Yet, Thomas Brenner allegedly did not tell prospective investors about the investigation, that First American Securities, Inc. could face closure and that Thomas Brenner could be suspended from associating with any FINRA-registered firm, which he eventually was in July 2017.
In 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission brought charges against Brenner and other individuals and entities for allegedly perpetrating a $102 million Ponzi scheme that defrauded more than 600 investors.
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