Lose money after investing in a GPB Capital Holdings Fund? take action
800.931.8452
We can help recover your investment loss. Free consultations, always. CONTACT US

Allegations of Violating SEC Rules Pending Against Former A.G.P. / Alliance Global Partners Michael Shillin

Michael Shillin (CRD#: 5927156) is a previously registered Broker and Investment Advisor. He entered the securities industry in 2011 and previously worked for A.G.P./Alliance Global Partners; Raymond James Financial Services, Inc.; and Edward Jones.

According to publicly available records released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), in September 2021, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil complaint against Michael Shillin. The allegation states, “Plaintiff United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) alleges that Defendant Michael F. Shillin served as an investment adviser to hundreds of clients throughout Wisconsin and beyond. Shillin regularly told his clients he was their fiduciary. They, in turn, entrusted him with their hard-earned savings. Shillin systematically betrayed their trust, plying them with lies. Too often, the results were devastating. Shillin, in the course of selling a life insurance policy, told his client it contained a long-term care benefit. The client, now suffering from an illness, learned there was no such policy or benefit only after his diagnosis. Another client decided to retire early upon learning from Shillin that he was $450,000 richer. Shillin had explained the money was the profits from Shillin’s purchase of Space Exploration Technologies Corp. or “SpaceX” stock for the client. Only later did the investor learn the truth: The SpaceX stock and the resulting nest egg were figments of Shillin’s deception. These are only two examples of Shillin’s myriad lies and the resulting suffering they have caused so many of his clients. Shillin went to great lengths to deceive his clients. He even set up an online portal for his clients to monitor their portfolio of securities and profits – much of which, as we now know, were pretend. As a result of the conduct described herein, Shillin violated Sections 17(a)(1), 17(a)(2), and 17(a)(3) of the Securities Act, Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Advisers Act.” The complaint is pending.

For a copy of the SEC complaint, click here.

In addition, Michael Shillin has been the subject of 43 disclosures, including 30 that remain pending, including the following:

● May 2021–“Each claimant alleges one or more of the following: that former FA misrepresented that he bought securities in claimants’ accounts when he did not actually buy them and presented claimants with documents that led them to believe the securities had been bought; misrepresented that he had purchased long-term care riders for claimants; appeared to use transfers from claimants’ investment accounts or payments from claimants’ own capital invested in annuity to create illusion of benefit payments from long-term care product; misrepresented the premiums that would be owed by claimants on long-term care policies; misrepresented how long long-term care benefits would last; misrepresented that after a specified time, the cash value of two insurance policies would be sufficient to fund future premiums; failed to make ongoing payments from claimants’ accounts for insurance product’s long-term care rider, causing policy to be canceled; misrepresented that withdrawals from claimants’ accounts were non-taxable when they were actually taxable; incorrectly advised claimants they could retire based on the purported performance of their portfolios; failed to follow instructions not to buy bonds that were not FDIC insured; and/or made unauthorized disbursements from two trusts.” Damages of $1M are requested. The customer dispute is pending.

● May 2021–“Each claimant alleges one or more of the following: that former FA misrepresented that he bought securities in claimants’ accounts when he did not actually buy them and presented claimants with documents that led them to believe the securities had been bought; represented that a claimant could obtain long-term care benefits under a rider to the claimant-spouse’s long-term care policy but never submitted the paperwork; failed to inform claimants that there were limits on penalty-free withdrawals from 401k accounts that had been rolled into an IRA; incorrectly represented to claimants they could withdraw from their IRAs when the withdrawals were prohibited transactions, and he prepared falsified accounting documents; improperly advised claimants they were eligible for a benefit under the Affordable Care Act and prepared a falsified Form 1099 reflecting a lower income; incorrectly advised claimants that investments in pre-IPO stocks would provide certain tax benefits, provided figures to include in tax returns, and represented that he would file the tax returns and forward payment to the IRS for claimants but failed to do so; incorrectly advised claimants on how much they could withdraw from their accounts to live on; and/or incorrectly advised claimants they could retire based on the purported performance of their portfolios.” Damages of $1M are requested. The customer dispute is pending.

● April 2021–“Client indicated Mr. Shillin did nor properly manage their account, and misrepresented the insurance coverage held by the client as it relates to long-term care.” The customer dispute was settled for $5,000.

● April 2021–“Former client alleges that former FA may have fabricated statements to falsely reflect syndicate transactions in former client’s account that were not actually executed.” The customer dispute is pending.

● April 2021–“Former clients allege that FA gave them false information and misrepresented their investments and portfolio.” The customer dispute is pending.

● April 2021—“Client alleges the advisor used fake statements for IPOs to hide the misappropriation of funds. Allegation Activity Dates: 6/17/2015 – 05/21/2018.” The customer dispute is pending.

● March 2021–“Client alleges that FA misrepresented that variable annuity contract that client purchased included long term care and life insurance benefits.” The customer dispute was closed with no action.

● March 2021–“Former client alleges that FA represented that he was buying a long term care policy when instead he bought a life insurance policy and that FA misrepresented the policy would earn interest and after approximately 5 to 6 years it would self-fund.” The customer dispute was closed with no action.

● March 2021—“Clients allege that FA misrepresented that structured CD they purchased would pay periodic interest. The structured CD, however, only paid interest at maturity, but clients still received periodic interest payments which FA funded from his bank account.” The customer dispute is pending.

● March 2021—“Client alleges that Mr. Shillin (a) misrepresented the nature, amount and value of certain securities, including telling the client that he owned certain securities that were never actually purchased; and (b) engaged in the improper use of margin. The client alleges he has incurred tax liabilities and has made other financial decisions in reliance on Mr. Shillin’s misrepresentations that have caused him damages. Client also alleges that the Firm failed to supervise Mr. Shillin.” Damages of $5,000 are requested. The customer dispute is pending.

● March 2021—“Clients allege FA misrepresented their life insurance policy would be paid in full in 10 years or less, and that after 5 years, the FA informed them the policy was fully paid, but instead, they will be paying premiums until they are 100 to 120 years old.” The customer dispute was closed with no action.

● March 2021–“FA recommended withdrawing funds from a 401k to fund the purchase of a life and long term health insurance policy, and misrepresented that premiums would be paid from the policies’ dividends after 5 years.” The customer dispute was closed with no action.

● February 2021–“Clients stated that starting in or around October 2019 (or possibly earlier), Michael Shillin misrepresented the amount and source of expected dividends and funds in their accounts. Clients also stated that Mr. Shillin told them that they owned SpaceX stock and had significant profits in that stock, when in fact, the clients did not buy or own SpaceX stock. Clients also stated that they told Mr. Shillin that they had a tax liability of approximately $13k based on reporting of supposed profits and income. Client stated that Shillin said there was no tax liability and that he would resolve the issue and submit the clients’ tax returns to the IRS for them. Clients indicated the issue was not resolved and tax returns were never filed.” Damages of $13,000 are requested. The customer dispute is pending.

● February 2021—“Client stated that Mr. Shillin told him that he owned pre-IPO shares of SpaceX, even though the client did not pay for those securities and does not own them.” Damages of $7,500 are requested. The customer dispute is pending.

● February 2021—“Clients stated that Mr. Shillin made misstatements about the taxability of withdrawals from IRA accounts, resulting in tax issues for the clients. Clients also stated that Mr. Shillin told them that they owned pre-IPO shares of SpaceX, even though the clients did not pay for those securities and does not own them.” Damages of $145,000 are requested. The customer dispute is pending.

● February 2021—“Clients stated that Mr. Shillin made misstatements about the taxability of withdrawals from an annuity and accounts at AGP, resulting in tax issues for the clients.” Damages of $5,000 are requested. The customer dispute is pending.

● February 2021—“Clients stated that Mr. Shillin misrepresented the features of insurance policies which appear to have been purchased before Mr. Shillin’s employment with AGP. Clients also stated that Mr. Shillin mismanaged their retirement funds resulting in poor investment performance.” Damages of $5,000 are requested. The customer dispute is pending.

● February 2021—“Clients indicated Mr. Shillin misrepresented the value of one of their accounts. Clients further indicated that they had a verbal agreement with Mr. Shillin that he would not use discretion on their managed accounts (Note: Signed paperwork indicates discretion was properly granted). Clients also indicated they did not receive confirms or statements on their accounts. (Note: Both accounts were set up for e-Delivery. The e-Delivery email address matches the address provided by the client.)” Damages of $51,588 are requested. The customer dispute is pending.

● February 2021—“Client stated that Mr. Shillin recommended an IRA rollover that caused a taxable event, and that Mr. Shillin charged management fees that were higher than the amount that had been agreed upon. Client also stated that Mr. Shillin told him that he owned pre-IPO shares of SpaceX and Palantir, although it does not appear that the client ever purchased those shares. Further, client stated that Mr. Shillin lied about creating a living trust for him.” Damages of $5,000 are requested. The customer dispute is pending.

● January 2021—“Client stated that Mr. Shillin provided them with an inaccurate, falsely inflated value of pre-IPO shares of SpaceX that had been purchased by the client.” Damages of $5,000 are requested. The customer dispute is pending.

● January 2021—“Client was told by Mr. Shillin he had purchased pre-IPO shares of SpaceX and Palantir. The client did not pay for these securities, and does not own them. The client further stated that Mr. Shillin gave him poor advice about the amount of money he could remove from his account per month.” Damages of $5,000 are requested. The customer dispute is pending.

● January 2021—“Clients indicated they are having tax and insurance issues based on Mr. Shillin’s advice. Clients indicated Mr. Shillin provided a falsified 1099 for 2019 in an attempt to cover up his bad advice.” Damages of $30,000 are requested. The customer dispute is pending.

● January 2021—“Clients stated that (a) they retired in 2015 and 2016, and made other financial decisions, based on misrepresentations made by Mr. Shillin about their financial situation and account balances; (b) Mr. Shillin recommended that they cash in a paid insurance product to fund a different policy, and that this policy has lapsed due to Mr. Shillin’s misrepresentations, and (c) Mr. Shillin told them they owned pre-IPO shares of SpaceX and Palantir, even though the clients did not pay for those securities and do not own them.” Damages of $5,000 are requested. The customer dispute is pending.

● January 2021–“Client stated that he was supplied with a falsified 1099 by Mr. Shillin which caused tax and other issues, including with the receipt of a federal stimulus check. Client also stated that Mr. Shillin misrepresented Enterprise Zone formation and associated taxation. Client also stated that Mr. Shillin told him he owned pre-IPO shares of SpaceX and Palantir, even though the client did not pay for those securities and does not own them.” Damages of $5,000 are requested. The customer dispute is pending.

● January 2021—“Client stated that he was supplied with a falsified 1099 from Mr. Shillin which caused tax issues. Client further stated he based retirement decisions on Mr. Shillin’s misrepresentations about his financial status. Client also stated that Mr. Shillin told him that he had purchased pre-IPO shares of SpaceX and Zoom.” Damages of $300,000 are requested. The customer dispute is pending.

● January 2021—“Respondent was barred by FINRA, ordered by the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) to cease and desist, failed to inform potential investors of those disciplinary actions, and falsified the status of investment matters.” The state of Wisconsin barred Michael Shillin from all capacities beginning January 22, 2021.

● January 2021—“Clients stated that they retired based on false information that Mr. Shillin provided to them as to the value of their accounts in 2014. Clients also stated that Mr. Shillin misled them about the source of their monthly distributions by stating that they represented income on their investments, when they appear to have been disbursements of the principal in their accounts.” Damages of $5,000 are requested. The customer dispute is pending.

● January 2021—“Clients stated that Mr. Shillin misrepresented the features of an insurance policy they purchased in 2015 (while at a different firm). The clients indicated they were misled about the source of distributions from their accounts at AGP. The clients further indicated that they had tax issues based on bad advice from Mr. Shillin, and that Mr. Shillin reimbursed them for those amounts. Clients also stated that Mr. Shillin told them they owned pre-IPO shares of Spacex. It does not appear that the clients ever paid for the shares of SpaceX.” Damages of $5,000 are requested. The customer dispute is pending.

● January 2021—“Clients stated that they have tax, insurance, social security, and related issues arising out of falsified 1099s provided by Mr. Shillin. Clients also stated that Mr. Shillin told them they owned pre-IPO SpaceX shares. It does not appear that the clients ever paid for the shares of SpaceX shares.” Damages of $50,000 are requested. The customer dispute is pending.

● January 2021—“Client stated that Mr. Shillin misrepresented the features of a life insurance product purchased in 2014 while Mr. Shillin worked for Edward Jones. Client further indicated that Mr. Shillin misrepresented that monthly ACH deposits were coming from a life insurance company when they were coming from the client’s own funds. Client also stated that Mr. Shillin told him he owned pre-IPO SpaceX shares, and that he was provided a falsified 1099. It does not appear that the client ever paid for the shares of SpaceX.” Damages of $5,000 are requested. The customer dispute is pending.

● January 2021—“Client stated that Mr. Shillin provided bad advice in regard to taking distributions from an IRA account, and provided poor advice regarding his business. Client also stated that Mr. Shillin told him he owned pre-IPO SpaceX shares. It does not appear that the client ever paid for the shares of SpaceX.” Damages of $5,000 are requested. The customer dispute is pending.

● January 2021—”Clients stated that Mr. Shillin guaranteed them they would not lose any principal in their account, but they lost $17,336 in an IRA based on his bad advice. The clients also stated that Mr. Shillin advised him not to speak to AGP employees in late September 2020 (shortly before Mr. Shillin resigned). Clients also expressed concerns about statements made at a “town hall” meeting held by Mr. Schillin’s successor (Jake Jansen) in December 2020.” The customer dispute was settled for $10,000.

● December 2020—”Without admitting or denying the findings, Shillin consented to the sanction and to the entry of findings that he refused to produce information or documents or give on-the-record testimony requested by FINRA. The findings stated that Shillin’s member firm filed a Form U5 stating that he had resigned while under investigation for creating and altering documents and e-mails designed to show the existence of a long term care insurance policy that did not exist, for directly making a series of payments to the beneficiary of the non-existent long term care insurance policy, and for making material misstatements and providing falsified/altered documents to firm personnel during the investigation in an apparent effort to explain the situation. The firm filed an amended Form U5 stating that a client had complained that Shillin made misrepresentations relating to the amount and source of expected dividends in his account.” FINRA barred Michael Shillin from all capacities indefinitely beginning December 21, 2020. For details of the FINRA sanction, click here.

● December 2020—“Clients stated that Michael Shillin provided them with falsified 1099 forms for 2019, causing the clients to complete an inaccurate tax return for 2019. Clients also stated that they took more money out of husband’s IRA in 2019 than they otherwise would have based on Mr. Shillin’s advice and misrepresentation that the interest on the bonds that they held in their individual accounts was tax-free.” Damages of $5,000 are requested. The customer dispute is pending.

● December 2020—“Client complained that in 2020, Mr. Shillin made misrepresentations and provided bad advice in connection with the viability of a life insurance policy purchased in 1988, and the resolution of a claim by one of the beneficiaries of that policy. The client stated that Mr. Shillin advised them to pay the complaining beneficiary approximately $18,000 from a separate account and then reimburse that account when the money was received from the insurance company. To date, it appears that no insurance proceeds have ever been received by the client or any of the beneficiaries. Instead, it appears that the subject insurance policy lapsed in 2006, and that no such proceeds will ever be forthcoming. Damages of $18,466 are requested. The customer dispute is pending.

● December 2020—“Client indicated that Mike Shillin attempted to switch his (and separately his wife’s) life insurance from State Farm to John Hancock in July 2018. His wife’s policy was switched, but the documentation Client received regarding his policy switch appears to be falsified as John Hancock indicated to him that he had no policy with John Hancock, and the policy number was not for Client (He discovered this fact recently). A check drawn from State Farm for $29,658.78 was deposited into Client’s joint brokerage account in April 2019. The money stayed in the account; and was not used to pay for any insurance policy. A review of Firm emails indicates Client was rejected for the policy in underwriting, but Mr. Shillin did not relay this information to Client. Client provided copies of multiple texts from Mr. Shillin which stated Client had a valid policy with John Hancock. He also provided copies of John Hancock documents he received directly from Mr. Shillin.” Damages of $30,000 are requested. The customer dispute is pending.

● December 2020—”The client advised that Michael Shillin provided a written account summary that reflected the ownership of certain securities (including SpaceX pre-IPO shares) that, in fact, were not purchased for the client. Client believes he has been “misled” by Mr. Shillin. It does not appear that the client ever paid for the shares he claims Mr. Shillin told him that he owned, and it further appears that no funds are missing from the client’s account.” Damages of $5,000 are requested. The customer dispute is pending.

● November 2020—“Complaint alleges that Mr. Shillin told [REDACTED] that he had purchased shares of SpaceX Series G Founders Shares in October 2019 or December 2019. Client further alleges the investment was for $20,000 (although he alleges that $25,000 was withdrawn from the account); and that Mr. Shillin promised the SpaceX shares would be delivered into client’s account.” Damages of $5,000 are requested. The customer dispute is pending.

● November 2020—“To determine whether violations of the federal securities laws or FINRA, NASD, or MSRB rules have occurred.” An investigation was initiated by FINRA’s Department of Enforcement.

● October 2020—“The client alleged that Mr. Shillin made misrepresentations relating to the amount and source of expected dividends in his account.” The customer dispute was settled for $22,991.67

● October 2020–Mr. Shillin resigned while under investigation for (a) creation and alteration of documents and e-mails designed to show the existence of a long term care (LTC) insurance policy in favor of a “beneficiary” who was not a client of the Firm, when in fact, that policy did not exist, and (b) for directly making a series of payments to the “beneficiary” of the non-existent LTC policy. In addition, Mr. Shillin made material misstatements and provided falsified/altered documents to Firm personnel during the investigation in an apparent effort to explain the situation. The investigation to date has not uncovered any evidence of diversion of funds.
● October 2020—”Mr. Shillin resigned while under investigation for (a) creation and alteration of documents and e-mails designed to show the existence of a long term care (LTC) insurance policy in favor of a “beneficiary” who was not a client of the Firm, when in fact, that policy did not exist, and (b) for directly making a series of payments to the “beneficiary” of the non-existent LTC policy. In addition, Mr. Shillin made material misstatements and provided falsified/altered documents to Firm personnel during the investigation in an apparent effort to explain the situation. The investigation to date has not uncovered any evidence of diversion of funds.” Michael Shillin voluntarily resigned from A.G.P. / Alliance Global Partners.

● October 2020—”SUPPOSED ALLEGATION CONCERNING INSURANCE PRODUCT PROVIDING FOR LONG-TERM CARE.” Michael Shillin voluntarily resigned from A.G.P. / Alliance Global Partners.

● May 2018—”Failure to follow firm directive regarding the payment of client CPA fees.” Michael Shillin was discharged by Raymond James Financial Services, Inc.

For a copy of Michael Shillin’s FINRA BrokerCheck, click here.

Financial advisors have a legal and regulatory obligation to recommend only suitable investments that are appropriate for their clients’ needs and objectives. Their employing brokerage firm has a legal and regulatory obligation to supervise the Financial Advisors’ sales practices and dealings with clients. To the extent any of these duties are breached, the customer may be entitled to a recovery of his or her investment losses.

Reasonable basis suitability requires that a recommended investment or investment strategy be suitable or appropriate for at least some investors. Reasonable basis suitability requires an advisor to conduct adequate due diligence so that he or she can determine the risks and rewards of the investment or investment strategy.

Quantitative suitability requires a brokerage firm or financial advisor with actual or de facto control over a customer’s account to have a reasonable basis for believing that a series of recommended transactions – even if suitable when viewed in isolation – is not excessive and unsuitable for the customer when taken together in light of the customer’s investment profile. No single test defines excessive activity, but factors such as the turnover rate, the cost-equity ratio, and the use of in-and-out trading in a customer’s account may provide a basis for a finding that a member or associated person has violated the quantitative suitability obligation.

Customer-specific suitability requires that a member or associated person have a reasonable basis to believe that the recommendation is suitable for a particular customer based on that customer’s investment profile. Among the criteria that a financial advisor must evaluate to satisfy his or her customer-specific suitability obligations include the investor’s agee, tax status, time horizon, liquidity needs, and risk tolerance; a client’s other investments, financial situation and needs, investment objectives, and any other information disclosed by the customer should also be considered.

In addition, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) strictly prohibits financial advisors from “selling away” or selling securities and investments to clients that are not offered by the brokerage firm with which they are employed. For example, it is illegal and a violation of industry rules for a financial advisor to recommend or even suggest that a client invest in the financial advisor’s own business or a business operated by his or her friends or family. It is not necessary that the financial advisor earn any compensation for recommending an outside investment.

The purpose behind this prohibition is to ensure that a financial advisor only offers to sell securities that have been vetted by his or her employer brokerage firm through a rigorous due diligence process. Most brokerage firms have an approved list of investments, products, and research that can be provided or made available to clients. Any deviation by the financial advisor from the approved product list may constitute selling away.

The Wolper Law Firm represents investors nationwide in securities litigation and arbitration on a contingency fee basis. Matt Wolper, the Managing Principal of the Wolper Law Firm, is a trial lawyer who has handled hundreds of securities cases during his career involving a wide range of products, strategies and securities. Prior to representing investors, he was a partner with a national law firm, where he represented some of the largest banks and brokerage firms in the world in securities matters. We can be reached at 800.931.8452 or by email at mwolper@wolperlawfirm.com.

Now is the time to talk to an investment loss recovery lawyer. We can help recover your investment loss. Free consultations, always.
or call 800.931.8452
Main Office - Fort Lauderdale

1250 S. Pine Island Road
Suite 325
Plantation, FL 33324
Phone: 800.931.8452
954.406.1231

Additional Office Locations (by appointment only)
Atlanta

3355 Lenox Road
Suite 7
Atlanta, GA 30326

Indianapolis

13295 N. Illinois St.
Suite 314
Indianapolis, IN 46032

New York City

275 Madison Avenue
Suite 705
New York, NY 10016

Dallas

3102 Maple Ave.
Suite 400
Dallas, TX 75201

Portland

5933 NE Win Sivers Drive
Suite 205
Portland, OR 97220

Denver

7900 E. Union Ave.
Suite 1100
Denver, CO 80237

Naperville

1700 Park Street
Suite 103
Naperville, IL 60563

Seattle

1001 Fourth Ave.
#3200
Seattle, WA 98154