Birmingham financial adviser accused of stealing nearly $4 million from clients

John MacColl appears to be working out plea deal with prosecutors

BIRMINGHAM, Mich. - A financial adviser in Birmingham had to face a federal judge Friday after being accused of stealing nearly $4 million from his clients.

John MacColl, 65, is suspected of coming up with a scheme to get clients to send money to his personal accounts. The FBI got involved, and now he's working out a deal.

For the most part, it's been business as usual at UBS in Birmingham for the past few months, but new court records show earlier this year, that wasn't the case.

Records show MacColl was a financial adviser at UBS and devised a scheme to steal money from clients, according to officials.

The U.S. attorney's office believes from 2010 to 2018, MacColl convinced clients to send money to his personal account for investment options not available through UBS.

When clients asked for documentation, MacColl made false statements, according to court records.

Investigators said MacColl operated the scheme on his personal cellphone so UBS had no way of knowing what was happening.

When managers became suspicious, the company started an investigation, found the problems and called police.

"UBS terminated Mr. MacColl as soon as the firm became aware of his improper and illegal actions," a UBS spokesperson said in a statement. "Although those actions occurred outside the firm's control framework, UBS is reimbursing its affected clients for their loses."

MacColl has a home in a gated Rochester Hills community. It's up for sale for nearly $750,000. The listing says there's a motivated owner.

Local 4 tried calling all listed phone numbers for MacColl, but they've all been disconnected.

"The charges allege that the defendant victimized over a dozen of innocent investors and greedily stole millions of dollars from them," U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said. "Our office will stand up for crime victims and vigorously pursue those who seek to damage Michigan citizens through greed like this."

MacColl turned himself in and was arraigned Friday on a wire fraud charge, officials said. He appears to be working out a plea deal with federal prosecutors.

MacColl was released on a personal bond.

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