Ex-Merrill Chicago Broker Charged with Stealing Millions to Pay Credit Card Debt
The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged former Merrill Lynch broker Marcus Boggs with fraud for stealing more than $1.7 million from three of his clients to pay down credit card debt racked up to satisfy his “penchant for international travel.”Boggs, 49, who had spent his entire 12-year brokerage career with Merrill in Chicago, made at least 200 wire transfers to his American Express account from the client accounts between 2016 and 2018, according to a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Illinois on Friday that cited his travel and stays at luxury hotels.
Boggs, who spent his entire 12-year career with Merrill prior to his discharge in December 2018, could not be reached for comment. He managed around $40 million in assets for 70 clients, according to the complaint.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority barred Boggs from the industry in January for failing to respond to requests for information in its follow-up investigation of the firing.
Merrill paid more than $5.6 million in settlements to the three clients this year, according to Boggs’ BrokerCheck record. It uncovered the alleged theft in November 2018, according to the SEC complaint.
Merrill is not named in the complaint, which identifies Boggs’ employer as a large New York-based financial services firm.
“We fired Mr. Boggs after an internal investigation found he stole client funds and made unauthorized transactions,” said Merrill spokesman Bill Halldin. “We promptly notified the appropriate authorities and have cooperated with their investigations.”
The settlements with Boggs’ clients preceded a $40 million payment that Merrill made in June to a billionaire customer of Boston broker Charles Kenahan over alleged churning. Kenahan, a prominent East Coast yacht racer, was discharged by Merrill last month and faces another customer claim for $42 million, according to his BrokerCheck history.