SEC Charges Former Atlanta Attorney with Investment Fraud


The Securities and Exchange Commission charged James S. Quay, age 50, a disbarred Atlanta attorney and unlicensed financial advisor, with defrauding two elderly women he convinced to invest with him directly. Mr. Quay is a convicted felon and had a history of steering retirees into fraudulent investment schemes, which he concealed from his victims, according to the SEC. He reportedly has used various names including Jim Quay, Stephen Quay, and Stephen Jameson.

Along with his brother Jeffrey A. Quay, age 44, Mr. Quay persuaded his victims to invest $560,000 with the understanding that they were investing in a covered-call equities trading program operated by Trinity Charitable Solutions. However, Trinity was a sham (non-legal) entity. The Quays actually deposited their victims’ money in a brokerage account and misappropriated $180,000 or more to pay for mortgage payments, lavish restaurant meals, and membership at a massage spa, according to the SEC.

Quay often hosted free dinner seminars that target retirees in order to gain their trust. He then encouraged the attendees to schedule private consultations with him to discuss their financial situation in greater detail. In addition to concealing his criminal background, Quay further misled his victims by providing them with a biography that detailed his educational background and professional designations, and holding consultations in his office, where his legal diplomas, bar certification, and other professional licenses and certifications were displayed on the wall.

Quay previously sold interests in a ponzi scheme that was operated by a Marietta attorney named Robert P. Copeland, who pleaded guilty to a crime and is serving a 10 year sentence. (“Ex-lawyer hit in fraud suit,” by J. Scott Trubey, Atlanta Journal-Constitution).

Quay agreed to settle the SEC’s charges by paying disgorgement of $1,403,638.62 plus prejudgment interest of $179,118.78 and a penalty of $450,000, and being permanently barred from the securities industry.

Page Perry is an Atlanta-based law firm with over 170 years of collective experience maintaining integrity in the investment markets and protecting investor rights.