Former Altoona investment advisor barred from securities industry

Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 5:06 PM CST
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ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) - An Altoona based financial analyst has been barred from working for any legitimate financial agency. We told you about investigations and complaints against Michael Shillin last month. Since then, Shillin has been barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority or FINRA -- from being associated with any FINRA related agency.

That’s because, FINRA claims, Shillin refused to respond to the claims and complaints. Now, we can tell you more about those filings by former customers. In one of two new complaints, one count alleges that Shillin claimed to have purchased 20-thousand dollars in Space-X shares, but withdrew 25-thousand from their account. Another client writes that Shillin falsified documents to cover up a non-existent life insurance policy. This person wrote a check for nearly 30-thousand dollars for the policy.

Mike Kennedy, an attorney with the White Law Group, which handles national securities fraud and investor protection says thousands of these cases get filed with FINRA every year.

Kennedy says, “The reality is that the brokerage firm that Mr. Shillin worked for had a responsibility to supervise him in the conduct of his business of selling securities which would include securities that may or may not have been fraudulent. So the first step would be to contact a law firm to talk about whether or not there is recourse for you.”

Kennedy adds in his experiences of talking to victims of misleading investment advice, the investors usually blame themselves which is not the case.

“When you are misled about a product, when you are recommended a product that appears to be fraudulent or was far too risky for an investor of your profile, the blame does not lie with you. The blame at that point lies with your broker and the brokerage firm that they worked for and I think that’s also important for people who invested with Mr. Shillin to understand that,” adds Kennedy.

According to Jess Noelck, Communications Director for the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), “The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, Division of Securities, is investigating Michael F. Shillin and Shillin Wealth Management LLC concerning Mr. Shillin’s transactions with Wisconsin investors to determine his compliance with Wisconsin securities law. If any customers have questions or wish to provide us with information about their transactions with Mr. Shillin, they can call (608) 266-2139 to report their concern. For more information about investment professionals or to file a complaint with the Division of Securities, please visit our website.”

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