Mark Pugsley is a trial attorney whose practice is focused on financial fraud, investment disputes, FINRA Arbitrations, and whistleblower cases filed with the SEC, CFTC and IRS. He frequently handles civil enforcement actions and regulatory investigations brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Utah Division of Securities, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) involving individuals, brokers, brokerage firms and investment advisors. He also handles receivership litigation, clawback cases, Qui Tam or False Claims Act cases, shareholder disputes, investor class actions, and internal investigations involving private and publicly-traded companies.
Mr. Pugsley was elected as a Commissioner of the Utah State Bar (Third District) in 2018 and is the chair of the Securities Litigation Group at Ray Quinney & Nebeker. He holds active licenses to practice law in Utah and California.
NOTABLE RECENT SUCCESSES:
- Represented two whistleblowers in an SEC whistleblower case that was approved for an award in April of 2021. His clients were awarded 30% of the $9,384,253 in ordered fines and penalties – the maximum award possible.
- Represented the Declarant in a whistleblower case filed against Vivint Smart Home Inc.. On January 6, 2021 the Justice Department announced that Vivint had agreed to pay the United States $3.2 million to resolve the case. His client will receive a significant reward.
- Represented a client in an $11 million CFTC whistleblower case that was approved for an award in January of 2020. His client will receive a significant portion of all restitution and civil penalties collected by the CFTC.
- Won a significant victory after a 5-day trial in Utah State Court in August of 2019. His clients were awarded compensatory damages in excess of $3 million, $2 million in punitive damages, and attorney’s fees.
- Represented a bankruptcy trustee and trustee of a private actions trust pursuing the claims of over 400 victims of a Ponzi scheme against a national life insurance company for securities fraud and the negligent employment of the agents who perpetrated the scheme for over a decade. The parties reached an 8-figure settlement in 2018.
- Represented 15 clients in a FINRA arbitration case alleging more than $6 million in out of pocket damages involving a rogue broker from a national brokerage firm. The firm settled the case shortly before the arbitration hearing in August of 2018 for a confidential amount.
- Represented 28 clients in a case alleging more than $10 million in out of pocket damages involving a broker who was employed by a national brokerage firm. The case was settled for a confidential sum that resulted in substantial recovery of his clients’ losses.
- Obtained a $4.43 million award against Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. for failing to properly supervise the manager of its local branch office in Salt Lake City. The FINRA arbitration panel found that Lincoln failed to adequately supervise Scott B. Gordon, who was soliciting unapproved investments in a separate company while acting as the branch manager for Lincoln’s Utah office. Mr. Gordon was subsequently barred by FINRA.
Mr. Pugsley has been recognized as one of the preeminent litigators in Utah by the following rating publications:
- The Best Lawyers in America©: Tier 1 Utah for Securities Law since 2008 in the following categories:
- Litigation – Securities (Lawyer of the Year, Utah in 2016)
- Securities Regulation (Lawyer of the Year, Utah in 2013)
- Corporate Law
- Super Lawyers
- Highly recommended for Securities Litigation (2010-2019)
- Top 100 in Mountain States Region (2012)
- Benchmark Plaintiff: Rated as “Highly Recommended” for Securities Litigation
- Utah Business Magazine: Listed as one of Utah’s “Legal Elite” in the category of Civil Litigation every year since the list’s inception in 2004.
- Martindale-Hubbell: AV Preeminent (5.0) rating.
Mr. Pugsley has been writing and speaking on affinity fraud and Ponzi schemes for many years. He maintains a blog relating to securities fraud issues here in Utah and nationally: UtahSecuritiesFraud.com