Former Securities Broker Sentenced to Serve at Least Eight Years in Prison after Being Convicted of Stealing More Than $330,000 from Former Clients
"Many people trust their hard earned money to a financial advisor because they expect he will make financial decisions in their best interest in order to ensure a more secure future for them and their families. Mr. Selewach took advantage of that trust for his own personal benefit and today he was held accountable for his actions," AG Coakley said.
Shane Selewach, age 48, of Hyannis, was found guilty today by a Barnstable Superior Court jury on the charges of Larceny Over $250 (6 counts), Securities Fraud (6 counts), and Transacting Business as an Unregistered Broker/Dealer. After the verdict, Selewach was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Gary Nickerson to serve 8 to 12 years in State Prison, followed by 10 years of probation. Selewach was also ordered to pay full restitution in the amount of $335,000 to the victims. While on probation, Judge Nickerson ordered that Selewach be barred from working as a fiduciary or having any role where he is a custodian of money. Selewach must also disclose his prior conviction to any employer.
In 2007, the Attorney General's Office began an investigation after Selewach's activities had been referred by the Massachusetts Securities Division (MSD) in the Secretary of State's Office. The MSD's investigation concluded that while working as a securities broker-dealer agent for a major financial company, Selewach had misappropriated client funds he had been entrusted to invest. As a result, Selewach was fired from his former employer and his registration was terminated in April 2006. The MSD subsequently suspended Selewach for three years, beginning in May 2006.
Investigators from the Attorney General's Office discovered that from July 2005 through November 2008, Selewach solicited investors for funds for proposed investments such as a commodities, hedge funds or real estate. Selewach deposited these funds in various personal and business accounts, withdrawing these funds for personal uses such as paying his mortgage and international travel. Selewach failed to tell these investors, some of whom were his old clients, that he was not registered as a securities broker. As a result of this scheme, Selewach stole nearly $350,000 from six investors.
On September 24, 2009, Selewach was arrested and subsequently arraigned in Barnstable District Court where he entered a plea of not guilty and was released on $20,000 bail. On October 20, 2009, a Barnstable County Grand Jury returned indictments against Selewach. On November 5, 2009, he was arraigned in Barnstable Superior Court where he entered a plea of not guilty and was released on the previously posted bail. Today, after 12 days of trial, a Barnstable Superior Court jury deliberated for approximately three hours before returning with a guilty verdict. Selewach was sentenced on all charges today.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Michael Pine, of AG Coakley's Corruption and Fraud Division and was investigated by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG's Office and Jennifer Chaves of the Financial Investigations Division of the Attorney General's Office. Victim Witness Advocate Shannon Legrice also assisted in this case.