Banned adviser pleads guilty to fraud involving fake SpaceX stock

A former NextGen financial adviser has pleaded guilty to fraud, according to a May 23 court filing.

Michael Shillin, who had worked as a counselor for nine years, was charged with bank and wire fraud by federal prosecutors in 2021. He pleaded guilty during a Monday appearance in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. His sentencing is scheduled for July 21.

Neither Shillin nor his attorney could be reached for comment.

The seal of the US Department of Justice on a podium in Washington, DC, USA

Samuel Corum/Bloomberg

Last year, the Securities and Exchange Commission also filed civil charges against Shillin for allegedly misrepresenting investments from clients and fabricating documents during a year-long fraud scheme.

In the SEC case, Shillin consented earlier this year to the entry of a judgment ordering him to pay a civil penalty to be determined by a court at a later date. He neither admitted nor denied the SEC’s allegations, according to the regulator’s order. The agency also barred him from the securities industry.

The SEC had accused Shillin of falsely telling his clients that he had invested their funds in IPO or pre-IPO shares of top companies such as SpaceX, when in fact he had not. . Shillin also allegedly lied to clients about the true value of their investment portfolios.

A client allegedly believed he had earned a $450,000 return on his SpaceX investment, prompting him to retire in early 2020, the regulator said in its September 2021 legal complaint. learned later, this nest egg was as fictitious as its SpaceX stock,” the SEC legal complaint states.

According to the SEC, Shillin also allegedly encouraged several clients to convert existing life insurance policies into new ones, forcing them to pay premiums for policies offering significantly fewer benefits than Shillin claimed.

Shillin, a resident of Appleton, Wis., was 32 when the SEC filed the civil suit. He began his consulting career with Edward Jones in 2011, moving to

Raymond James Financial

two years later. The company fired him in 2018, according to BrokerCheck, a database run by industry self-regulator Finra.

He joined Alliance Global Partners in 2018 and voluntarily resigned from the company in 2020, according to BrokerCheck. He then formed a now defunct independent firm that bears his name. He has 46 disclosures listed in his BrokerCheck file.

Write to Andrew Welsch at [email protected]

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