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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


JUNE 18, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


JOPLIN MAN SENTENCED FOR $1 MILLION SECURITIES FRAUD,

FILING A FALSE TAX RETURN


            SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Joplin, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for a securities scheme that defrauded his victims of more than $1 million and for filing a false federal income tax return.


            Mark Leon Henry, 37, of Joplin, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard E. Dorr this afternoon to six years and six months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Henry to pay $966,107 in restitution to multiple victims and $102,126 in restitution to the government, for a total restitution order of $1,068,233. Henry is also prohibited from working as an investment adviser while serving a three-year term of supervised release following his incarceration.


            On Nov. 13, 2007, Henry pleaded guilty to securities fraud and to filing a false federal income tax return. Henry operated a financial brokerage business in Carthage, Mo. as an investment advisor representative for Investment Centers of America (ICA) from November 1996 to August 2005. ICA terminated its business relationship with Henry in September 2005, but Henry continued to operate his office in Carthage and advertise himself as representative of ICA. After September 2005, Henry also held himself out as an agent for Harbour Investments, despite the absence of any authority to do so and despite the fact that he was not a licensed securities broker after September 2005.


            Henry defrauded his victims of a total of $1,154,783. In course of this scheme, Henry returned approximately $189,185 to some victims under the guise of interest payments, principal withdrawals, or annuity payments in order to perpetuate his scheme by lulling these victims into a false sense of the security of their purported investments. The total loss amount is therefore $966,000.


            Beginning in November 1996, Henry devised a scheme to defraud at least 14 investors (including his father and his stepmother) out of their money. At various times, Henry, acting as a stockbroker for ICA, recommended legitimate securities or investments for his customers. 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 2003. Henry admitted that he filed an income tax return in which he failed to report approximately $187,206 in income received through the offer and sale of securities during 2002.


            The amount of unreported income that Henry failed to report on his 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 federal tax returns totals $538,449. As a result, the total tax loss to the government is $102,126.


            This case was prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. Oliver. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, IRS-Criminal Investigation, 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