Former Florida Investment Adviser Sentenced to Ten Years in Prison for Defrauding Clients
PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Sean Donald Premock, 47, of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, was sentenced today to ten years in prison and three years of supervised release by United States District Judge Paul S. Diamond for numerous fraud offenses. The defendant was also ordered to forfeit $797,021 in proceeds and pay $1,061,532 in restitution.
The defendant, a former licensed stockbroker and investment adviser, pleaded guilty in May 2017 to nine counts of mail fraud, nine counts of wire fraud, one count of securities fraud, and one count of investment adviser fraud. As part of his guilty plea, Premock admitted that he had lost all of his professional licenses between March 2012 and August 2013, and had been permanently barred from serving as an investment advisor. The defendant’s fraud that led to his conviction in this case began while he was still licensed and continued even after he lost his licenses.
Premock began defrauding his clients in at least 2009, while still employed at a securities firm in Florida. When it became apparent that he was going to lose his licenses, Premock set up his own investing companies, including the aptly-named Mocktrading Investments, LLC and Mock Trading Group, which the defendant used to defraud his clients -- most of whom were elderly and inexperienced investors and some of whom were his own family members. Premock continued to hold himself out as a licensed stockbroker and investment adviser even after losing his licenses, and convinced many of his clients to trust him with their life savings. The defendant promised to manage his clients’ money and invest it in, among other things, stocks, bonds, “hedge funds,” “tractions,” and annuities. Premock told his clients that their funds would be safe, and promised to place them in low risk investments.
In reality, Premock invested only about half of the funds he received from clients and spent the rest on himself. Furthermore, the investments he did make were failures and he lost virtually all of his clients’ money. To hide his fraud, the defendant lied to his clients about their investments and mailed them false account statements. Later, Premock even began calling himself “Ethan” to make it harder for anyone to discover his true identity. In total, Premock’s clients lost more than $1,000,000 during the course of his fraud.
“Honesty, integrity, and trust all play a critical role in the relationship between a financial advisor and a client. Any advisor who deliberately betrays his clients’ trust for his own financial gain turns the system on its head,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “The damage done by such corrupt financial advisors can be catastrophic; here, some of Sean Premock’s victims lost their life savings. Today’s sentence reflects the gravity of that betrayal.”
“Getting fired for bad behavior and losing his professional licenses proved a mere career speedbump for Sean Premock,” said Michael J. Driscoll, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “His next venture: flat-out fraud. He set about reeling in unsuspecting investors, lied about his plans for their money, and created a phony paper trail to cover up his crimes. Most of his victims were elderly. Maybe that’s why he thought he could get away with it. The FBI is proud to have proved him wrong.”
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael S. Lowe.