Securities Industry Commentator by Bill Singer Esq

August 14, 2018

Former attorney indicted for using dozens of his clients' identities to obtain fraudulent litigation advances (DOJ Press Release) Law Group lawyer Chalmer "Chuck" Detling, II was indicted in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia on seven counts of wire fraud and eight counts of aggravated identity theft in connection with his alleged unauthorized use of the identities of 36 former clients of his personal injury law firm in order to apply for and obtain 50 fraudulent litigation advances, totaling over $383,000. Purportedly, the litigation financing entities did not require the clients to be present when applying for the litigation advances or receiving the disbursements, which allowed Detling to further his fraud. Detling allegedly had the loan proceeds wired directly to his law firm's Interest on Lawyer Trust Account ("IOLTA") or he personally picked up checks from the lending entity and deposited the funds into the IOLTA account; and the proceeds were then transferred to Detling Law Group's operating accounts or other Detling Law Group accounts.

Jamaican Woman Sentenced for Lottery Scam Targeting Elderly Victims (DOJ Press Release)
After pleading guilty to conspiracy to launder monetary instruments in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Tessicar Karelle Jumpp was sentenced to six years in prison for orchestrating a lottery fraud. From her home in Jamaica, Jumpp contacted victims in the United States,  pretended to be a representative of Publishers Clearing House, and falsely informed her victims that they had won a lottery prize of millions of dollars, but were first required to pay taxes and advance fees. Jumpp then instructed her victims to send funds through wire transfers and in packages of cash mailed to her co-conspirator who kept a portion and sent the remainder to Jumpp and others in Jamaica. Jumpp's victims included an 85-year-old woman  who was scammed out of over $335,000, and an 85-year-old Massachusetts man who was defrauded out of almost $50,000.
Breathtaking. Stunning. Stupendous. Majestic. Brilliant. Such are the first thoughts that came to mind for Blog's publisher Bill Singer after he first read today's featured FINRA intra-industry arbitration. At issue was a somewhat run-of-the-mill employment dispute in which an associated person sought six-figures in damages from his former employer Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. You wouldn't think any of that would set the stage for an amazing FINRA Arbitration Decision. Well, life is full of surprises. Be prepared to be amazed! The Chair of the FINRA arbitration panel asserted that he was being victimized by an "ethically corrupt attempt to have me sign based on false pretense." Further, the Chair requested this extraordinary sanction:

In recognition of the Claimant's pro se status, it is my additional request that FINRA be charged with all attorneys' fees and expenses, court costs and other related expenses for both parties, or either party, as the case may be, and of those of any other persons, if any, compelled by the court to appear or give testimony, for FINRA's actions in connection with this dispute as set forth above. As the court deems appropriate it should also charge FINRA with a penalty for any action it deems ethically improper or otherwise egregious in conduct.

California Man Sentenced to Prison for Wire Fraud and Money Laundering (DOJ Press Release)
Following an eight-day jury trial, Joseph Brent Loftis was convicted in the United States District Court for the District of Montana on  five counts of wire fraud and two counts of money laundering. Loftis solicited approximately $3 million from investors based upon false representations that he owned leases on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Also, he misrepresented the amounts of oil produced from oil wells and his ownership interests (he had defaulted) in oil and gas leases in Oklahoma and Texas. Further,  Loftis misrepresented his education and denied having a criminal record despite a 1995 felony conviction for bank fraud and false statements to a financial institution. Loftis was sentenced  to 97 months in prison, three years of supervised release and a $700 special assessment; and subject to a forfeiture order of $1,662,749.10 and a payment of $7,831,666.55 in restitution.

Phony music booking agent sentenced for defrauding victims out of almost $1 million (DOJ Press Release)
Octaveon Woods owned and operated several companies, including Global Talent Agency, GTA Bookings, and National Artist Agency, that claimed to be booking agencies in the entertainment industry. Student groups at Emory University, the University of Missouri, and victims overseas booked through Woods' companies artists for concerts and festivals, but he simply withdrew the funds without delivering the artists' services. Even after pleading guilty in April 2018, Woods continued to lure more victims into transferring him money for concerts that were never going to happen. Woods was sentenced  in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia to three years, 10 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release