Mark Joseph Boucher of Carlsbad California a former stockbroker of Raymond James Financial Services and former investment adviser representative of SCF Investment Advisors Inc. has been charged by Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with engaging in a fraudulent scheme during the period that he controlled Strategic Wealth Advisors Group (SWAG). Securities and Exchange Commission v. Mark J. Boucher and Strategic Wealth Advisor Group Services Inc. Case No. 3:20-cv-01650 (Aug. 25, 2020).
According to the Complaint, from December of 2010 to July of 2020, at least $2,000,000.00 had been misappropriated by Boucher from banking accounts and advisory accounts owned by three of his customers. The Complaint states that omissions and misrepresentations had been made to customers by Boucher concerning his fraudulent activities. His activities allegedly included authorizing a fraudulent transaction, forging checks, and building up a customer’s trust during a period that he was stealing from them.
SEC alleges that the first customer’s assets had been sold by Boucher and then the proceeds were directed to Boucher’s own accounts. Boucher’s alleged forgery and deceptive actions enabled him to divert the customer’s funds. That customer supposedly fell victim to $669,000.00 in misappropriation from their Raymond James and SCF Investment Advisors accounts.
The Complaint also alleges that funds had been withdrawn from the customer’s advisory accounts by Boucher despite there being insufficient funds to support Boucher’s lavish lifestyle. The stockbroker allegedly used the customer’s funds for personal expenses including a trip to Hawaii.
SEC also alleges that in March of 2017, a second customer became exposed to Boucher’s misappropriation. The Complaint alleges that securities had been sold from the customer’s account by Boucher, and $60,000.00 in proceeds were then wired to a car dealership so that Boucher could buy a Camaro for himself. The Complaint alleges that this customer had been impersonated by Boucher so that Boucher could tap their account. SEC contends that Boucher even sold that Camaro to the customer.
Boucher also purportedly stole from a third customer which was a trust set up for the benefit of a customer who had recently died. That decedent trusted Boucher as he was their investment advisor since 2015. The Complaint alleges that prior to the customer’s death in August of 2019, a revocable living trust had been established for them. Boucher had been designated as an investment advisor for that trust, and he was named a successor trustee. SEC alleges that from August of 2019 to July of 2020, $1,500,000.00 had been misappropriated by Boucher from this trust. Securities and cash had been distributed from trust accounts into Boucher’s own brokerage and checking accounts.
SEC alleges that Boucher attempted to conceal that he committed fraud when he was investigated by the regulator. The Complaint charges Boucher with violating Securities Exchange Act of 1934 Section 10(b), SEC Rule 10b-5, Securities Act of 1933 Section 17(a), and Investment Advisers Act Section 206(1) and 206(2).
FINRA Public Disclosure reveals that Boucher has been identified in two customer initiated investment related disputes regarding accusations of his improper activities. A customer filed an investment related complaint involving Boucher’s activities where they sought $36,500.00 in damages founded on allegations that omissions had been made to them concerning variable annuity products sold by Boucher at NYLife Securities Inc. Boucher is the subject of another customer initiated investment related written complaint which was settled for $542,444.83 in damages on January 24, 2020 supported by accusations of theft and forgery when Boucher was associated with Raymond James Financial Services.
Boucher was discharged by SCF Investment Advisors on May 22, 2019 based upon allegations of him misappropriating a customer’s funds.