A financial adviser employed at UBS Financial Services in Birmingham was accused of stealing more than $ 3 , 7 million of its customers, federal agencies said Friday.

John Maccoll, 65, of Rochester Hills has reportedly convinced at least 15 people to transfer money or write checks on his personal accounts, and then spent the money instead of investing, the authorities said. The US Securities and Exchange Commission has prosecuted Maccoll this week for violations of the Securities and Exchange Acts. In addition, US Attorney Matthew Schneider accused him of fraud.

The system began in either 2008 or 2010 (court records vary) and ran until March 2018. It began to disguise when a concerned customer contacted federal authorities after receiving an alleged bank statement from Maccoll that contained errors and spelling mistakes.

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According to Schneider's office, Maccoll told some of his clients that they have the ability to use special investment tools that UBS does not provide Money or write checks on his personal accounts.

"Most of the customers targeted by Maccoll were the elderly, retired, and had a working-class or middle-class background," the SEC complaint states. "Maccoll has had long-standing relationships with these clients who trusted him to manage their investments."

Maccoll falsely told customers that the investments were going well and demanded that they send more money, authorities say.

Maccoll took steps to hide the alleged fraud. The billing document in the case of fraud related to telephone conversations means that he has made fraudulent statements and communicated with his customers through his personal mobile phone so that UBS was unable to monitor his activities.

In a press release on its website, the US Securities and Exchange Commission said Maccoll allegedly instructed its clients not to tell others about the alleged fund investment; some of its clients paid $ 400,000 with counterfeit bank statements that reflected fictitious income in Ponzi-like payments to certain customers to keep the system alive.

The SEC complaint stated that Maccoll had less than $ 7,000 in bank accounts until April 2018.

Maccoll hired himself and was charged on Friday, according to Schneider's office, and was released on a personal bond [19659006] The defense attorney named Rafael Villarruel in the court records could not be reached immediately on Friday night.

Contact author Ann Zaniewski at 313-222-6594 ​​or azaniewski@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter: @AnnZaniewski. [19659017] Read or Share This Story: https://on.freep.com/2nrB9an