We received a phone call this week from an interested party in the Anderson Scott Hall prosecution. The caller wanted to know what ever happened to Mr. Hall. Great question.
According to the clerk for the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Anderson Hall (a/k/a Scott Hall) is cooling his heals in a holding cell while awaiting sentencing.
Hall is the former head of Abaco Securities International. Prosecutors say that he defrauded dozens of Florida teachers and school workers of millions of dollars. Victims claimed that Hall promised stable high returns and that his investments were safe. Unfortunately, instead of properly investing his clients funds, Hall used the money to support his extravagant lifestyle.
Scheduled for trial last August, Hall abruptly pleaded guilty in December. Anderson Scott Hall was convicted of two counts of mail fraud, one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering. When sentenced, he faces 80 years in prison. Federal sentences are largely dictated by guidelines published by he United States Sentencing Commission, but judges are not bound by the recommended sentence.
At his plea hearing, Hall admitted that he solicited clients to invest their retirement savings with him. The money was funneled through accounts Hall controlled at SunTrust and ultimately into his pocket. As is typical in a Ponzi scheme, some of the money was used to pay earlier investors.
Although convicted, Hall was released on bail pending sentencing. That bail was revoked this summer after the court found Hall was not complying with the terms of his release. Hall’s sentencing has been postponed by the court because Hall voiced concerns about his U.S. immigration status.
Although not yet sentenced, Hall is likely to remain in jail until sentencing.
Is there hope for investors? Actually yes! Hall will certainly be ordered to pay restitution, however he is likely to remain in jail for a long time meaning that collecting restitution is doubtful. (Sentences are based on the dollar amount of the criminal conduct and Hall’s thefts are in the millions.) The good news is information that Hall was running Abaco while also employed at AXA Advisors, a large brokerage firm headquartered in New York.
Brokerage firms must supervise their brokers. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority says that AXA Advisors has paid some of the claims against Hall in part. We don’t know if there are other claims not yet filed. Even if AXA didn’t know that Hall was allegedly operating a Ponzi scheme while in their employ, they can still be held responsible for his actions.
The practice by which stockbrokers sell unauthorized products is called “selling away.” Brokerage firms can often be held responsible in selling away cases even though they lacked actual knowledge of the unauthorized transactions. In this case, AXA Advisors may be the only deep pocket for the victims.
Lose money to an investment fraud or Ponzi scheme? The fraud recovery lawyers at Mahany & Ertl may be able to help you get back your hard earned money. For more information, contact us at or contact the author directly at (414) 704-6731 (direct).