On May 22, the Securities and Exchange Commission banned James Y. Lee, formerly of La Jolla, from the securities industry.
Lee didn't show up for the hearing. One reason: he is in Taft Correctional Institution for criminal misdeeds. He has quite a record. In 1997, he was convicted of wire fraud and pension embezzlement and was sentenced to thirty months in custody. He was ordered to pay $2.88 million in restitution and failed to pay "the vast majority" of it, according to the agency.
In 2007, he set up a shell corporation and peddled stocks to victims. He falsely told them he was a certified public accountant, had a master's degree in business administration, and held a juris doctorate. The next year, he was ordered to cease and desist selling penny stocks. He was trading some of them without authorization.
In 2014, the securities agency charged Lee with defrauding clients. Among other things, he falsified clients' returns so he could collect undeserved management fees.
For these and other sins, the commission said Monday, "an industry bar against Lee is in the public interest." Hmm. Anybody argue with that?