Shelby Twp. investment broker accused of fraud

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News


The state plans to revoke the license of a Shelby Township investment broker amid allegations of fraud, officials said.

If convicted of the charges, Ernest J. Romer III faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000.

Michigan's Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Department also said Wednesday it intends to fine Romer $1.5 million, according to an order it issued last week Tuesday to cease and desist business operations.

Romer is accused of fraud in connection with the offer or sale of securities and engaging in dishonest and unethical practices, officials with the department's Corporations, Securities and Commercial Licensing Bureau said in a statement.

They accuse Romer of convincing at least four of his customers to sell their securities to invest elsewhere. After they sold, Romer then used the money for his own personal benefit, the department said.

 It's alleged they gave him more than $300,000, which he deposited into bank accounts he controlled. 

The bureau received multiple complaints from Romer's customers about him, officials said. They also said the company that registered Romer as a broker, Southfield-based CoreCap Investments, terminated the registration in January.

“The Michigan Uniform Securities Act prohibits securities agents from liquidating customers’ securities and then using the proceeds for personal use,” Julia Dale, the bureau's director, said in a statement. “Our bureau will continue to take strong regulatory actions to protect the public.