From 2006 through 2011, Anderson Scott Hall and the company he ran, Abaco Securities International, were household words in Jacksonville, Florida. Abaco conned many Duval County teachers and administrators into turning over their hard earned savings. Prosecutors say millions in savings. Hall’s clients were promised stable, secure investment returns from 6 to 18%.
Instead of being invested, however, the money went to purchase “high value luxury items” and real estate for Hall’s personal enjoyment. Typical of Ponzi schemes, some of the money is alleged to have paid off early investors. To avoid getting caught and keep the scheme alive, fraudsters will sometimes pay off early investors by using money from new investors. This process has the added benefit of having satisfied clients who will likely tell friends and lead to even more investment dollars.
Prosecutors say the entire Abaco Securities scheme is a scam. Hall has been indicted and charged with 20 counts of mail and wire fraud, all stemming from his activities at Abaco Securities. If convicted, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.
Hall has pleaded not guilty and denies the charges.
The case was scheduled for trial earlier this year but last week a federal judge in Jacksonville continued the trial until August. That means victims of Anderson Scott Hall will have to wait even longer to see any restitution. To add even more insult, there does not appear to be enough assets to make victims whole. Unfortunately, Abaco investors will likely see a fraction of what they lost. Although Hall is likely to be ordered to pay restitution, it is unlikely that he will ever have meaningful earnings when and if released from prison.
Is there any hope for investors? Actually yes!
Investigation suggests that Hall was running Abaco Securities while employed by AXA Advisors, a large and reputable brokerage firm. Broker dealers have an obligation to supervise their agents and sales staff. That such a large scam could be operated under the nose of AXA is stunning.
As one prominent securities lawyer has said, AXA was “asleep at the switch.”
When a stockbroker sells or recommends unauthorized investments, the conduct is called “selling away.” With some good and creative lawyering, the employing broker dealer or investment advisor can be responsible for failing to monitor and supervise its agents. While restitution is not likely to produce much for victims, third party claims against AXA Advisors may be the only remedy for the victims’ lost retirement savings.
If you invested in Abaco Securities while Hall was affiliated with AXA, you might have a claim The investment fraud lawyers at Mahany & Ertl take cases with losses $100,000 or more related to frauds by stockbrokers, investment advisers or other financial professionals. Our fraud recovery team has helped many investors get back their hard earned money. We also take cases involving other frauds including legal and accounting malpractice. Most cases can be handled on a contingent fee basis meaning no legal fees unless we recover money for you.
Mahany & Ertl – America’s Fraud Lawyers. Offices in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Detroit, Michigan; Portland, Maine; Minneapolis, Minnesota and San Francisco, California. Fraud recovery available in many jurisdictions.
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