A federal jury in Chicago, IL has entered a guilty verdict against Shawn Baldwin, a former owner of various investment firms in the Chicago area, on charges that he swindled at least fifteen investors and lenders out of a collective $10 million from 2006 until 2017.
According to the trial evidence, Mr. Baldwin obtained funds from various individual investors and corporate lenders using false claims that compliance officers and professional advisors were affiliated with his firms when no such relationships actually existed.
Baldwin also deceived investors and lenders by misrepresenting and minimizing the serious disciplinary actions taken against him by regulators, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and attempted to conceal his fraudulent scheme by giving his victims bogus account statements that misrepresented the value of their funds. He also reassured his investors by falsely claiming that he was developing lucrative new business deals that would lead to profits from initial public offerings when in fact he could not pay back investors because he had lost or spent their money.
According to Baldwin’s FINRA BrokerCheck report, he has been permanently barred from the financial industry by FINRA since 2010, following his failure to comply with an arbitration award against him, and for his firm CMG Institutional Trading, LLC’s failure to respond to FINRA requests for documents and information. His background includes five regulatory action disclosures, a customer complaint filed against him with FINRA, and the criminal charges which resulted in this guilty verdict.
Baldwin will be sentenced in July.