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TDCI: Jailed ‘School of Stocks’ Owner Must Pay $33,000

Department Urges Consumers To Conduct Research, Ask Questions First
Monday, March 16, 2020 | 08:30am

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance’s (TDCI) Securities Division announces that an unlicensed out-of-state investment adviser must pay $33,000 in civil penalties and court costs because of fraudulent transactions involving Tennessee residents.

Shaneal Yogesh Patel, who formerly operated the unregistered “The School of Stocks LLC”,  is currently incarcerated in the Bay County Jail in Perry, Fla. on unrelated charges.  Patel has been ordered to pay $30,000 for the unlawful transactions of business as an investment adviser, fraud, and misrepresentation. Additionally, Patel is ordered to pay $3,000 for prosecutorial, investigatory, and hearing costs.

The civil penalties stem from two separate 2016 incidents investigated by TDCI’s Securities Division that revealed two Tennessee investors paid Patel $3,000 and $4,900 respectively for investments. Patel, who was living in Lebanon, Tennessee at the time, had portrayed himself as a day trader, portfolio manager and the owner of the “School of Stocks.” Instead of making proper investments, Patel deposited the funds into his personal account and used the money to pay for trips to a massage parlor, fast-food restaurants and other items. A copy of the final order can be found  here.

“Protecting Tennessee consumers is a goal shared by all of our divisions,” said Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance Commissioner Hodgen Mainda. “I urge all Tennesseans to ask questions and educate themselves before getting involved with investment advisers and investment opportunities. Only use investment advisers who are properly registered by the State of Tennessee. If any questions arise, please reach out to my team here at TDCI before making an investment.”

Consumers who suspect they might be a victim of securities or insurance fraud should contact the Tennessee Securities Division – Financial Services Investigations Unit at (615) 741-5900. To file a complaint online, visit us  here.

Questions about a broker? Research the background and experience of financial brokers, advisers and firms at https://brokercheck.finra.org/

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