The SEC announced fraud charges against attorneys Jay Mac Rust and Christopher K. Brenner for making undisclosed risky investments and stealing money from escrow accounts of small business owners seeking commercial loans. The SEC alleges Rust and Brenner collected $13.8 million acting as escrow agents between their clients and a purported loan company called Atlantic Rim Funding. Rust and Brenner assured clients that their deposits of 10 percent of the desired loan amount would be held safe and only used to purchase liquid, government-backed securities. According to the SEC’s complaint, Atlantic had no ability or intention to obtain these loans. Yet Rust and Brenner continued to make misrepresentations to clients and collect more money from clients anyway. Rust and Brenner took over $1 million in client funds to pay themselves and others and gambled on risky securities derivatives with the remainder of the money. SEC
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