The SEC charged an unregistered day trader for lying about his trading success and misappropriating client funds. The defendant convinced clients to hire him by asserting that that he had done very well as a day trader over several years and then promised over 50% annualized returns. Once retained, the trader did very poorly and siphoned client assets for personal expenses. According to the SEC, he then concealed his misconduct by delivering false account statements and implementing a microcap wash sale scheme. The defendant also faces criminal charges brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.
Lying about your investment track record constitutes securities fraud, subjecting you to civil and criminal penalties. Do not make performance claims unless you can affirmatively support your claims with hard data.