The Idaho Department of Finance has filed a civil complaint against a local mortgage broker for allegedly defrauding investors of $24 million.
Stephen L. Howell, formerly of Boise, was cited for violations of the Idaho securities laws. Also named in the suit are Security Financial Services Inc., Security Financial Fund LLC and Security Investors Fund LLC, all companies owned or managed by Howell.
The department alleges that Howell defrauded investors by making misrepresentations about his funds' investments, by omitting from the investment solicitations certain material information, and by engaging in a course of business that operated as a fraud or deceit upon other persons. Howell is accused of treating the investors' funds as a personal asset and using the monies and opportunities related to the business transactions of the funds as a means to enrich himself.
The department is asking for Howell to be fined $10,000 for each violation, and that the court award attorney fees. In addition, the department is asking that a receiver be appointed to take control of all assets owned by Howell as well as the remaining assets of the funds and that the receiver manage such funds for the benefit of the investors.