The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has permanently barred Michael J. DiMare, of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., from the securities industry for “misappropriating over $1.9 million in client funds.” In its news release on the settlement, FINRA stated that Dimare, formerly a registered representative, hid his financial scheme by making false statements and submitting falsified account statements to his customers.
DiMare worked for John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company (John Hancock) as a sales manager between 2001 and 2006, and as a registered representative/insurance agent with ING Financial Partners, Inc. (ING) from late 2006 to mid 2008. According to FINRA, DiMare persuaded his clients from at least 2001 to 2008 to invest in fictitious CDs and bonds, including what he described to be “tax free” corporate bonds.
FINRA’s investigation revealed that between 2001 and 2008, DiMare instructed some 14 of his clients to write checks payable to John Hancock – even after he no longer worked there – which he deposited directly into his bank account for eventual personal use. DiMare concealed his scheme by submitting false account statements to his clients who thought they were making legitimate financial investments.
In response to the situation, James S. Shorris, Executive Vice President and Executive Director of Enforcement for FINRA, made this statement:
"FINRA will continue to bar individuals who engage in deceit and theft with no regard for the high standards of ethical conduct that govern the industry. By deceiving customers into believing they were making legitimate investments when, in reality, he was simply enriching himself, DiMare epitomized the darkest side of the securities industry."
DiMare never admitted guilt nor denied FINRA’s charges, but the now barred schemer did consent to the entry of the agency’s findings in the settlement. John Hancock and ING reimbursed the customers defrauded by DiMare’s scheme.
Florida Broker Barred for Selling Phony Financial Products, Taking More Than $1.9 Million From Clients – FINRA’s News Release
Tips from FINRA to help Investors Avoid Financial Fraud