Mark Hopkins (Mark Lewton Hopkins CRD#: 2653473) is a former registered broker who was registered with American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. (CRD# 18487) of Grand Blanc, Michigan from 2009 until he was permitted to resign in 2018. Hopkins worked in the industry since the 1990s. Hopkins also did business under the name Worklife Wealth Management.
Hopkins’ BrokerCheck Report, published by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) contains several recent disclosures, including two customer disputes, a regulatory action initiated by FINRA, as well as a Complaint filed by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Hopkins Was Permitted To Resign From His Position At American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc.
Hopkins’ FINRA BrokerCheck Report reveals that in December 2018, Hopkins was permitted to resign amid allegations that he “accepted customers funds for an investment not on the books of the [broker-dealer] without obtaining pre-approval.”
The investor disputes against Hopkins allege similar misconduct, including:
- In March 2019, a customer alleged that while employed by American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc., Hopkins “solicited funds for an investment away from the broker-dealer at a credit union . . . [Hopkins] presented a copy of an altered bank check as evidence of his ability to repay.” American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. settled this dispute for $400,000.
- In July 2019, an investor filed a securities arbitration claim alleging that “Hopkins solicited $500,000 purportedly for an investment away from AFPS and utilized the funds for his own purposes.” American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. settled this claim for $175,000.
Both of these complaints, as well as the allegations that led to American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. permitting Hopkins to resign, indicate that Hopkins engaged in “selling away”, an industry term for when a broker solicits funds for an investment at that was not part of the firm’s offerings or otherwise approved by the brokerage firm.
Regulators Pursue Hopkins
In 2019, FINRA sent a request to Hopkins for documents and information in connection with FINRA’s investigation into Hopkins’ conduct. According to FINRA’s Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent with Hopkins, Hopkins failed to respond to the request, and consented to “[a] bar from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity.”
It was not long before other regulators took action. In November 2019, the State of Michigan issued a consent decree and order alleging “Respondent Mark Hopkins, in connection with the offer or sale of securities, omitted a material fact necessary to make other statements made not misleading when he recommended that XXX liquidate securities to be invested in a credit union investment on XXX behalf, but omitted to state that the liquidated funds would not be invested in an account over which XXX had any ownership or control, contrary to section 501 of the Securities Act, MCL 451.2501.”
The SEC also filed a civil complaint against Hopkins in July 2020 alleging that Hopkins “misappropriated at least $1.15 million from at least five customers . . . Hopkins represented that he would invest their funds in an investment program at a local credit union, when in actuality no such program existed.” The case is still pending.
Did You Invest With Mark Hopkins Of American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. Or Worklife Wealth Management?
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