BOISE -- Idaho regulators filed a lawsuit against a former Boise mortgage broker, saying he violated securities laws and defrauded investors who gave him $24 million.

The Department of Finance filed its civil complaint against Stephen L. Howell Wednesday.

Howell, who now lives in Plummer in northern Idaho, allegedly misrepresented his fund's investments by omitting material and by engaging in business practices that constituted fraud and deceit.

Specifically, the agency says Howell formed Security Financial Fund, LLC to pool investor funds to finance a large pool of loans and mortgages.

Instead, regulators say he treated the accounts as a personal asset, enriching himself to the detriment of his investors' interests.

The state wants the court to fine Howell $10,000 and wants a receiver appointed to take control of assets Howell still oversees.

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