William F. Morgan of North Canton was indicted Wednesday on 44 counts by a Stark County grand jury and arrested today, according to a press release issued by the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Securities.
Dennis Ginty, deputy communications director for the Ohio Department of Commerce, said Morgan was arrested and booked into the Stark County Jail today. His arraignment hearing is scheduled for Dec. 28.
Following a criminal referral by the state Division of Securities, Morgan was indicted on the following charges:
- Nine counts of grand theft
- Nine counts of theft from the elderly
- 14 counts of selling unregistered securities
- 15 counts of securities fraud
Ginty said Morgan is accused of selling $162,000 in unregistered securities to about 15 investors, primarily from Stark County. At least nine of the investors were elderly.
“The investors believed they were investing in a Stark County limited partnership titled MA & P Partnership, which Morgan organized and managed,” Ginty explained. “The investors were told that the partnership invested in various platforms, including oil futures and companies listed on the stock exchange.”
The Division of Securities investigation led to a cease and desist order against Morgan last May. Ginty said the Division found that Morgan sold unregistered securities, failed to properly account for investor money, and made fraudulent statements to investors.
“Investors were told by Morgan that their investment was safe and secure and there was no way they could lose their investment. Instead of directly investing their funds, Morgan placed their money in his bank account,” he said.
Prior to these alleged law violations, Morgan was licensed as a securities salesperson until he was terminated in January 2004 by his employer for failing to fully cooperate in an investigation by the National Association of Securities Dealers, Ginty said.
Morgan also had been a licensed insurance agent, but that license was revoked by the Ohio Department of Insurance in December 2011, he added.
The Stark County Prosecutor’s Office is prosecuting the case.
The Division of Securities encourages potential investors to call the division’s Investor Protection Hotline at 1-877-683-7841 to ask:
- Is the salesperson or brokerage firm licensed to sell securities in Ohio?
- Have any enforcement actions been taken against them?
- Has the security been properly registered with the Division of Securities?