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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of New York

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Saranac Lake Man Pleads Guilty to Securities Fraud

Mark Gillis Defrauded Brokerage Customers out of Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars

ALBANY, NEW YORK - Mark Gillis, age 47, of Saranac Lake, New York, pled guilty today to securities fraud in connection with a scheme to steal nearly $400,000 from his customers.


The announcement was made by Acting United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and Vadim D. Thomas, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


In 2012, Gillis was a co-owner of Hudson Valley Capital Management, Inc., a securities broker-dealer with offices in Saranac Lake and Croton-on-Hudson, New York.  Gillis was a licensed stockbroker and worked out of Saranac Lake. 


Gillis admitted to purchasing shares of a stock and then transferring the shares to three Hudson Valley customers at improper markups of up to 280%.  As a result of the markups, Gillis stole $379,652.41 from the customers.  Gillis did this to cover up a nearly $400,000 loss he suffered while trading securities for his own benefit. 


Acting United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith stated: “When Mark Gillis, a licensed stockbroker, lost $400,000 on his personal trades, he covered those losses by stealing more than $379,000 from his customers.  He will now be held accountable for his greed.  We will continue to protect investors by charging stockbrokers who do not follow the rules and abuse their positions of trust.”


FBI Special Agent in Charge Vadim D. Thomas stated: “Mr. Gillis abused his position and defrauded investors of over $370,000.  The FBI views securities fraud as a significant problem and is pleased with today’s plea.”


Gillis faces up to 25 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of post-imprisonment supervised release of up to 5 years when he is sentenced by Senior United States Judge Norman A. Mordue on April 9, 2018 in Albany.  A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is convicted of violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.


Gillis will also be required to forfeit $379,652.41 to the United States.   The Securities Investor Protection Corporation insured the investors’ losses. 


This case was investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cyrus P.W. Rieck. 

Securities, Commodities, & Investment Fraud
Financial Fraud
Updated November 14, 2017