In Franklin County Ohio, a former county judge has been wrapped up in investment fraud carried out by an unlicensed securities dealer. At this point in time, authorities have identified at least six victims with one of them being Harland Hale, who previously served as the Municipal Court’s environmental judge from 2003 to 2013. The victims are believed to have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars when the unlicensed dealer, Jeffrey B. Hall, made risky investments for the clients.
An indictment was filed just last week. Hall of East Oak Street has been accused of misleading the investors into believing that we was licensed. Unfortunately, Hall allowed his license to expire at the end of 2011. Now, Hall faces thirty counts of unlawful securities practices, as well as two counts of theft and one count of attempted unlawful securities practices. Due to the substantial quantity involved, ten of the counts are classified as first-degree felonies.
In the indictment, authorities accuse Hall of making misrepresentations and failing to disclose his lack of a license. It is believed that Hall acted unlawfully from January 2012 to July of this year. Hall’s risky investments did not pay off in the long run. Instead, his victims incurred combined losses totaling more than $500,000.
The amount lost by each client is not disclosed in the indictment. Only two victims have been identified at this point. The Prosecutor responsible for the case, Ron O’Brien, admitted the other victims were not identified, because the securities division’s investigation had not been concluded. Additional victims could be revealed in future indictments against the accused.
Hale took over as the environmental judge for the Municipal Court In February of 2003. After winning two elections, Hale went on to retire in May of 2013. His retirement came after a complaint was filed against him by the Ohio Supreme Court disciplinary counsel. In November of 2014, Hale’s license to practice law was suspended for six months by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline, after it was discovered that Hale had helped a fellow lawyer fix a speeding ticket.
Hale was accused of attempting to cover up his actions afterwards. Hale’s license was officially reinstated in July of 2016.