What You Need to Know
- On Thursday in Wisconsin, Chief U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson sentenced former Raymond James and Alliance Global Partners broker to 84 months in prison.
- He previously pleaded guilty to one count each of bank and wire fraud as part of a plea deal.
- The barred broker's probation was revoked in April after he took an unauthorized Caribbean trip.
A former Raymond James Financial and Alliance Global Partners broker accused of defrauding at least 100 clients was sentenced Thursday to seven years in prison.
Michael Francis Shillin, 33, was the subject of 37 client complaints since 2020. His pretrial probation was revoked in April after he violated its terms by allegedly taking an unauthorized trip to the Caribbean.
He pleaded guilty in May to one count each of bank and wire fraud, according to court documents and Timothy M. O’Shea, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin.
At sentencing, Chief U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson stressed the need to impose a sentence for Shillin’s “pretty horrifying crime,” O’Shea said in a news release.
Based on the record at sentencing, Judge Peterson called Shillin “resolutely dishonest” and a “very selfish person,” according to O’Shea.
The judge rejected Shillin’s argument that he only lied in a misguided attempt to make his clients feel good, O’Shea said. Judge Peterson instead stated that Shillin “lied to make [himself] feel good,” according to O’Shea.
The judge also noted that the victims should not feel bad about being defrauded because they were defrauded by a “highly skilled manipulator” who had “vast experience in deceit,” according to O’Shea.
Raymond James, AGP and Kathleen Quinn, the attorney representing Shillin, did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Monday.
The Plea Deal
A federal grand jury returned an indictment against Shillin, the owner of financial advisory firm Shillin Wealth Management, in October. The Justice Department charged him with nine counts of wire fraud and one count of bank fraud.
Shillin agreed to plead guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of bank fraud — charges that can carry sentences of up to 20 years and up to 30 years in prison, respectively.
As part of the plea agreement, he also agreed to five years of supervised release and to pay a $1.25 million fine and $200 special assessment.
Shillin allegedly told his clients that he bought nonpublic stock of well-known companies on their behalf and that they made hundreds of thousands of dollars on those investments when Shillin had actually not purchased the stocks at all, according to the indictment.