Hingham Man Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Investors
BOSTON – A Hingham man pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Boston in connection with defrauding neighbors and other acquaintances by agreeing to invest their money which he then stole for his own use or to pay off earlier investors.
Stephen S. Eubanks, 48, pleaded guilty today to one count of wire fraud after being charged and arrested in November 2016. U.S. District Court Chief Judge Patti B. Saris scheduled sentencing for July 11, 2017.
In February 2010, Eubanks opened Eubiquity Capital LLC, a hedge fund that, by 2016, took in approximately $529,000 in investor funds. Eubanks was previously a registered broker with several large brokerage firms, but was terminated in the wake of customer complaints and other disciplinary issues. In 2013 and 2014, Eubanks nonetheless told two acquaintances that he was a registered financial advisor running a hedge fund affiliated with Goldman Sachs, TD Ameritrade, UBS Bank and Fidelity Investments. One of the acquaintances invested $125,000 with Eubanks, while the other invested $20,000. A third person, living in Florida, invested $50,000 with Eubanks in 2013.
Eubanks invested some of his clients’ funds, but used a significant portion for personal expenses. Moreover, when asked for account statements summarizing the fund’s performance, Eubanks fabricated account statements or used account statements from unrelated accounts to deceive his clients into believing that their money had earned a healthy return. In some instances, Eubanks ran the fund as a Ponzi scheme, using money deposited with him by newer investors to pay returns to earlier investors. Eubanks defrauded 32 people of approximately $435,000.
The charging statute provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb; Shelly Binkowski, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. The Massachusetts Securities Division, which conducted an earlier civil investigation of Eubanks, provided significant assistance to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling of Weinreb’s Economic Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.