The Michigan Attorney General’s Office has accused Bay City, Michigan resident Shawn Dicken of playing an integral role in a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme. Dicken was arraigned in Midland County Court on September 18, 2013 on charges of organizing a criminal enterprise and embezzlement.
Dicken was formerly a registered representative of three different FINRA registered securities broker-dealer firms: Chelsea Financial Services (11/2009 – 01/2010); W R Rice Financial Services, Inc. (12/2010 – 07/2012); and G – W Brokerage Group, Inc. (09/2012 – 05/2013).
Dicken is charged with funneling $2 million of investor money into an investment fund that she knew was a Ponzi scheme. The state alleges that Dicken forged investor paperwork, mislead investors about the risks associated with their investments, and, in one case, took advantage of a severely disabled woman.
Beginning in 2008, Dicken began telephoning victims claiming that she could offer them a better return for their money by investing in Diversified Group. It appears that Dicken promised investors a 10% return and told investors that the worst that could happen is they get their money back.
Diversified Group is a series of companies run by Joel Wilson. On November 15, 2012, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) obtained an emergency order against Wilson after its investigation revealed that Wilson diverted over $500,000 of investor money to pay for personal expenses. Wilson is facing nine criminal charges in Michigan and has fled the country. Dicken received $160,000 in commissions for funneling money into Wilson’s Ponzi scheme.
Brokerage firms have an obligation to supervise their brokers and establish review systems to ensure abide by all applicable laws and regulations. Brokerage firms also have an obligation to maintain supervisory systems reasonably calculated to prevent their registered representatives from engaging in illicit outside business activities.
It appears that Dicken’s brokerage firms – Chelsea Financial Services, W R Rice Financial Services, and G – W Brokerage Group, Inc. – failed to fulfill their supervisory duties. If you are a former customer of Dicken and suffered losses in Diversified Group or in other questionable investments, you may be able to recover your losses by pursuing claims in arbitration against Dicken’s brokerage firms.
Blau & Malmfeldt is a law firm that represents investors across the United States in securities, commodity futures, partnership, and shareholder rights disputes. Please call us at 312-443-1600 or email Paul Malmfeldt at email@example.com to schedule a free consultation or learn more about the services we offer.