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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


JOHN F. WOOD


Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html


NOVEMBER 13, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


JOPLIN MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO

SECURITIES AND TAX FRAUD VIOLATIONS


            SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Joplin man pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Court Judge Richard E. Dorr to federal securities fraud and tax fraud charges.


            Mark Leon Henry, 37, of Joplin, Mo. operated a financial brokerage business in Carthage, Mo. as an investment advisor representative for Investment Centers of America (ICA) from November of 1996 to August of 2005. According to the charges to which Henry pleaded guilty, ICA terminated its business relationship with Henry in Sept. of 2005, but Henry continued to operate his office in Carthage, Mo. and advertise himself as representative of ICA. After Sept. 2005, Henry also held himself out as an agent for Harbour Investments, despite the absence of any authority to do so.


            Beginning in Nov. of 1996, Henry devised a scheme to defraud investors out of their money. At various times, Henry, acting as a stockbroker for ICA, recommended legitimate securities or investments for his customer investors. Instead of depositing the investment funds provided by his customers, Henry deposited the funds entrusted to him into his own bank accounts for his own personal benefit. In order to conceal this scheme, Henry provided his customers with fictitious account statements that falsely represented their securities holdings and account values.


            Henry also pleaded guilty to filing a fraudulent federal tax return in April of 2003. Henry admitted that he filed an income tax return for the year 2002 in which he failed to report approximately $187,206.00 in income received through the offer and sale of securities during 2002.


            Under federal statutes, the maximum penalties could result in a maximum of 23 years of imprisonment in federal prison without parole, a $5,100,000 fine, four years of supervised release, an order of restitution, and a $200 mandatory special assessment. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. Oliver. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Missouri Secretary of State-Securities Division.


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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html