A former chief compliance officer of a New York-based brokerage was charged by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and federal prosecutors on Thursday with bilking investors of over $800,000 and stealing from his firm.
William Quigley, who worked as an anti-money-laundering officer and the chief compliance officer at Trident Partners Ltd., was charged with wire fraud and money laundering by federal prosecutors in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The SEC announced fraud charges in a parallel complaint that will go before an administrative law judge.
While serving at Trident between June 2004 and September 2005, and again between October 2007 and September 2014, Quigley allegedly schemed to solicit investors to buy stock in well-known companies such as Dell, Berkshire Hathaway and BlackRock, or to support start-ups on the verge of going public, but according to prosecutors never actually purchased securities with investor money.
The SEC alleges that Quigley opened up three brokerage accounts, including a secret account at his then-employer, to misappropriate the funds.
The SEC complaint claims that after investors transferred their funds to bank and brokerage accounts Quigley controlled, he wired their money to a bank account in the Philippines or withdrew funds at ATMs in the vicinity of his home and office.
According to the criminal complaint, Quigley withdrew more than $42,000 in cash for his personal use and made dozens of different trips to different banks to conceal his withdrawals.
“We allege a classic situation of the fox guarding the henhouse as William Quigley subverted his position of trust as compliance director and stole money from investors and his own firm,” said Andrew M. Calamari, director of the SEC’s New York regional office.
Quigley was allegedly assisted in his scheme by two siblings living in the Philippines who handled the solicitation.
The SEC also alleges that Quigley used his position as compliance officer to keep Trident Partners from learning about his secret account and corresponding wires, and that he stole commission checks to Trident Partners and deposited them in outside accounts he used in the scheme.
The SEC charged Quigley with violating antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws and with causing, aiding and abetting violations of the antifraud provisions. Quigley is also charged with causing, aiding and abetting violations by Trident of federal securities law provisions that require broker-dealers to report transactions involving, among other things, funds derived from illegal activity.