Michael Anthony Collins of Alice was indicted Oct. 26 on charges of securities fraud, theft, and money laundering for allegedly stealing at least $5 million from investors who sunk money into his stock-trading operation.
The indictment alleges that from 2013 through mid-2015, Collins sold “investment plans” in Collins Financial Group of Alice. Investors were told their money would be used to trade stocks, with profits – which Collins termed “bonuses” – being generated anytime between one week and a few months.
Collins told investors he was licensed to sell securities in Texas, but he was last registered in 2008.
Certain investors did receive payments, but according to the indictment the “bonus money” came from later investors in the scheme, not through Collins’ trading of stocks.
Most of the alleged victims live in and around Alice, the Jim Wells County seat.
In addition to other facts he didn’t disclose to investors as required by law, Collins failed to disclose that the IRS in 2013 filed a tax lien of $74,204 against him and another individual.
Collins remains in the Jim Wells County jail, where he has been since his arrest in August.
Attorneys in the Enforcement Division of the Texas State Securities Board are serving as special prosecutors in the case. The Jim Wells County sheriff’s office is investigating the case.