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Ex-Merrill Lynch advisor barred by SEC for alleged $1.7M theft

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The SEC barred a former Merrill Lynch advisor who allegedly stole $1.7 million from clients, the regulator said.

The advisor, Marcus Boggs, 50, is currently facing criminal charges in federal court. He was previously arrested in August by police at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport before boarding a flight. His attorney declined to comment on the case.

From 2016 to 2018, Boggs allegedly misappropriated funds from at least three clients without their knowledge or authorization. The SEC says the Chicago-based advisor sold securities in their advisory accounts and transferred the money to an account he controlled. Boggs allegedly made more than 200 illegal transfers.

One of Boggs’ alleged victims sold his house and asked Boggs to help invest the proceeds, prosecutors say. Boggs allegedly used $127,000 of the client’s funds to pay off his personal American Express and Citibank credit card bills.

Boggs had worked at Merrill Lynch for 12 years until the firm terminated him in December 2018 for “conduct including withdrawal of funds from client accounts without their knowledge or approval,” according to a note on his FINRA BrokerCheck record.

Boggs has five client disputes listed on BrokerCheck. The complaints were settled for more than $4.5 million.

FINRA barred Boggs in January 2019.

He is facing charges in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. But the criminal case — like other court cases — has been put on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak. Hearings scheduled between March 17 and April 3 have been stricken from the calendar and will be rescheduled for a date after April 6, according to a court order. Other deadlines, such as motions, have been extended by 21 days.

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