Gopi Vungarala worked for the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe as an investment manager, according to his LinkedIn profile. The listing is now inactive.
Business | Law

Saginaw Chippewa Tribe set to recover more than $9 million from former broker





The Saginaw Chippewa Tribe is set to recover more than $9.6 million from a former financial adviser who engaged in fraud.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority filed a complaint against Gopi Vungarala in February 2016. A subsequent trial determined that he defrauded the tribe, The Mt. Pleasant Morning Sun reported.

Vungarala urged the tribe to invest $190 million with a particular firm. But he failed to disclose that he had a stake in the firm, where he earned $9,682,629 in commissions, FINRA's Office of Hearings Officers said in an October 25 decision, a copy of which was posted by The Morning Sun.

"Through false and misleading statements, he led the tribe to believe that he did not receive commissions on the tribe’s transactions and that he had no conflict of interest. In so doing, he willfully committed fraud," the decision read.

The tribe is not identified in the decision but FINRA's complaint had identified the tribe by the initials "ST." Vungarala's now-inactive LinkedIn profiled listed him as an employee of the tribe for the time period in question.

“The tribe will continue to cooperate with the proper authorities to address the wrongs perpetrated on the tribe," Chief Frank Cloutier said in a press release on Friday. “We directed the tribe's legal counsel to initiate our own civil litigation against Vungarala and other parties responsible for the fraud perpetrated on the tribe. We are in the midst of that litigation and are confident that we will prevail and obtain restitution from the parties responsible.”

Read More on the Story:
Investment manager bilked Tribe for $9 million in commissions (The Mt. Pleasant Morning Sun November 3, 2017)

Related Stories:
Broker accused of lying to tribal client about $190M in investments (February 8, 2016)