Former Flint Hamady High star's photo in the 1988 magazine for Central Michigan University football.
Posted on Feb. 10, 2021
BY MIKE KILLBREATH
CCN Executive Editor
Former Hamady High star who made it to NFL indicted for $1.1 million fraud scheme on clients of his financial adviser business
GRAND BLANC (CCN) — An indictment was announced Wednesday (Feb. 10, 2021) against a former financial adviser from Grand Blanc who is the former owner of The Jewel of Grand Blanc and Paddy McGee's Irish Pub.
Federal prosecutors accuse Mark Hopkins, 53, in an indictment of "devising a scheme to trick two sets of elderly investors" into giving him $1.1 million in an alleged fake investment. The charges say Hopkins produced fake bank account statements to make the investments appear legitimate when their money actually went into an account associated with the Jewel of Grand Blanc.
Hopkins and fellow Grand Blanc businessman Jerry Drudi bought The Jewel of Grand Blanc in 2009. They employed more than 50 people during the summer months and about 20 during the off season. They celebrated their grand opening by offering free golf and all money raised on the driving range was matched and donated to the Children's Miracle Network. Hopkins also often donated to charitable causes in the community, according to friends.
"He's such a nice guy, I'm just in disbelief," said one friend. Another one said, "It's crazy. I just can't believe such a nice guy would do something like this and I hope it didn't happen the way the charges say it did."
Hopkins is well known in local sports circles. In addition to operating the golf course and Paddy McGee's Irish Pub, the former Flint Hamady High star athlete made it to the New York Giants in the National Football League after starring at Central Michigan University where he was an all-Mid American Conference performer as a tight end.
Paddy McGee's Irish Pub and the banquet center at The Jewel of Grand Blanc combined as the host sponsors for many live broadcasts of The Daily Gazette Sports Weekend Show radio show before the establishments were sold last year.
An arraignment for Hopkins is scheduled for Thursday (Feb. 11, 2021) after the indictment was filed in U.S. District Court by the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District.
Hopkins could not be reached for comment and it's not known if he has hired a defense attorney.
An investigation was conducted by the FBI who allege that between September 2017 and January 2019, Hopkins misappropriated $750,000 from the first set of investors and then deceived a second set of elderly investors into withdrawing $400,000 from their brokerage account. Some of the $400,000 payment then went toward a partial “investment return” for the first set of investors.
"Seniors are some of our most vulnerable citizens,” said Acting United States Attorney Saima Mohsin. “We are committed to protecting them from those who seek to steal their hard-earned savings. I applaud the law enforcement agencies and elder services agencies for their dedicated work on these cases.”
The FBI was assisted in its investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the U.S. Attorney’s office.
The SEC had already announced civil charges last July against Hopkins. The SEC's complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, alleged that Hopkins violated the antifraud provisions of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The lawsuit said the "SEC seeks injunctive relief, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains and prejudgment interest, and civil money penalties."
Hopkins was subsequently barred from his financial adviser business at a branch office in Grand Blanc for worked with Worklife Wealth Management.
A statement by the Ann Arbor law firm of Israels & Neuman PLC urged anyone who lost money with Hopkins to contact their office. The statement said: "Brokerage firms like American Portfolios Financial Services have a responsibility to adequately supervise all representatives who are registered through their firm. Brokerage firms also must take steps to ensure that their financial advisors follow all securities rules and regulations, as well as internal firm policies. When brokerage firms fail to adequately supervise their registered representatives, they may be liable for investment losses sustained by customers."
The statement said the law firm can be reached by calling (720) 599-3505 for a free evaluation of your potential case against Hopkins or American Portfolios Financial Services.
Feb. 10, 2021
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