Broker Investigation: Hector May

A December 13 press release states the SEC has charged ex-Securities America advisor Hector May (CRD#: 323779) for conducting a Ponzi scheme with his daughter, Vania Bell. Over a twenty year period, the scheme netted the father and daughter millions. They defrauded clients, family members, close friends, seniors, and local community members.

May convinced clients they would save on fees if they agreed to move their assets to an outside RIA. He also offered his clients fraudulent tax-free corporate bond products in companies like GE and General Motors.

According to reports, May would contact clients when accounts were ready to renew. He would promise a higher rate of return if they would agree to deposit extra money into their accounts before pretending to invest these funds in fraudulent bonds. In reality, May was pocketing this extra money.

Mr. May spent more than $11.5M in ill-gotten funds to benefit himself, his wife, and his daughter. He made Ponzi scheme payments to other clients, paid a salary to himself and his daughter, paid credit card bills, limousine drivers, country club dues, made payments on a vacation home, and political contributions.

Bell, his daughter, provided cover for the fraudulent scheme using Quick Books. She created and sent statements to clients in which the fraudulent bonds appeared to be valid investments.

The SEC complaint charges May and Bell with violation of anti-fraud provisions of securities laws. Officials are asking for the return of all funds received by ill-gotten means, plus interest, and financial penalties.

Besides turning over money from his various bank and investment accounts, May is also required to give up the property he gained in the scheme.

Hector May pled guilty to criminal charges filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Charges included conspiracy to commit wire fraud and investment advisor fraud. Conspiracy to commit wire fraud alone could get him 20 years in prison. May’s daughter, Vania Bell, has not yet been charged with any crimes.

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