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Misrepresentations

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to fraudulent misrepresentations in financial transactions and financial markets. You may also be interested in the following pages:

Page 1 of 40

April 1, 2020

A Christian concert promoter and his business have settled with the SEC over charges of defrauding 145 investors of $3 million.  According to a press release, Jeffrey Wall of Maine and his business, The Lighthouse Events LLC, had promised investors that investments intended to promote Christian music concerts were “secured” and “guaranteed,” when in fact they were being used to pay off debt and make payments to earlier investors.  Each of the defendants have since been ordered to pay nearly $1.6 million each in civil penalties, $1.6 million in disgorgement, and over $200,000 in prejudgment interest.  SEC

March 4, 2020

The Massachusetts-based marketers of an electrical nerve stimulation device have settled FTC false advertising charges by agreeing to pay at least $4 million.  In marketing materials for Quell, NeuroMetrix, Inc. and CEO Shai Gozani allegedly described the device as "clinically proven" and "FDA cleared" for chronic pain relief all over the body, despite lacking scientific evidence or actual FDA approval to support such claims.  In addition to a cease and desist order and the $4 million judgment, NeuroMetrix has also been ordered to turn over another $4.5 million in future foreign licensing payments.  FTC

February 11, 2020

Property developer Monique Brady of Rhode Island has been sentenced to 8 years in prison and ordered to pay $4.8 million in restitution for defrauding 23 investors of $10.3 million in a Ponzi scheme that ran from 2014 to 2018.  Brady told investors, many of them her own family, friends, and business associates, that her property rehabilitation business, MNB LLC, had secured contracts to perform large scale rehabilitation work on foreclosed properties in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.  To entice investors, Brady promised a 50% return on profits and showed forged emails that purported to show the contracts were valid.  In reality, however, the jobs she was hired to do were menial and paid less than $1,000, and she was using investor funds to finance an extravagant lifestyle.  When she became the subject of a federal investigation, she told investors to delete all records of their investments with her company, then met with federal officials to request that they investigate her investors for usury, before attempting to abscond to Vietnam.  DOJ; USAO RI

Top Ten SEC and CFTC Recoveries of 2019

Posted  01/24/20
Silver Whistle Hanging
2019 was another busy year for the SEC and CFTC.  Once again, the SEC netted hundreds of millions of dollars in penalties and fines from companies and individuals accused of defrauding investors, breaching fiduciary duties, and violating the securities laws.  And that’s in addition to the SEC’s robust FCPA enforcement in 2019.  Meanwhile, the CFTC continued to root out market manipulators and other fraudsters...

January 13, 2020

San Francisco-based fund advisor Michael Rothenberg has been ordered to pay more than $31 million for misappropriating millions of dollars in client funds.  Instead of investing clients funds in emerging technology, the head of Rothenberg Ventures LLC allegedly funneled it toward personal business ventures and events, in violation of the antifraud provisions of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.  As part of the settlement, Rothenberg has also agreed to be barred from the securities industry for five years.  SEC

January 10, 2020

Richard Carter of Illinois has been ordered to pay $2.5 million for his role in a $1.76 million commodity pool fraud operated by Blue Guru, LLC.  According to the CFTC, from 2014 to 2018, Carter misrepresented the profitability of the commodity pool to current and prospective customers, while misappropriating customer funds, ignoring customer requests to withdraw, and lying to customers about disbursement issues.  Carter's co-defendant, Mark Slobodnik, was previously ordered to pay about $400,000, while Blue Guru was ordered to pay $7 million.  CFTC

January 9, 2020

After being charged with defrauding brokerage customers in May 2018 and pleading guilty in December 2018, a former registered investment advisor, Steven Pagartanis, has been sentenced to over 14 years in prison and ordered to pay $6.5 million for orchestrating the 18-year, $13 million fraud.  Pagartanis had targeted elderly women and promised an 8% return on investments.  However, he secretly laundered their investments and used the money on personal expenses, causing investors to lose over $9 million in total.   USAO EDNY

January 7, 2020

Behavioral Consulting of Tampa Bay (BCOTB) has agreed to pay $675,000 to settle claims alleging the autism service provider submitted false or fraudulent claims to TRICARE.  Following an audit by TRICARE's managed care support contractor, the United States launched an investigation into BCOTB's claims that revealed it had misrepresented the services that were provided, misrepresented the identity of service providers, requested payment on more units of time than reflected by records, and requested payment on services that were not substantiated by records.  USAO MDFL

December 10, 2019

The University of Phoenix and its parent company, Apollo Education Group, have agreed to resolve FTC charges through a record $191 million settlement, with $50 million to be paid in cash and $141 million in debts owed by affected students to be canceled.  The charges involved ads that gave prospective students the false impression that the university worked with major technology companies to design its curriculum and provide job opportunities.  FTC
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