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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:

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March 4, 2022

Venture capital fund adviser Alumni Ventures Group, LLC and its CEO Michael Collins have agreed to pay civil penalties totaling $800,000, and have returned $4.8 million to affected funds to resolve claims that they made misleading representations about AVG’s fees, and made inter-fund loans and transfers in violation of the funds’ respective operating agreements.  The SEC alleged that while AVG told customers that its management fee was the “industry standard ‘2 and 20.,” its practice was different from the industry standard in that it assessed the entire 20 percent in management fees – that is, 10 years’ worth of management fees of two percent per annum – upfront at the time an investor made the capital contribution.  SEC

March 3, 2022

City National Rochdale, LLC agreed to a civil penalty just over $30 million to resolve SEC allegations that the registered investment adviser failed to disclose to discretionary account clients that it invested their assets in proprietary mutual funds that generated fees for CNR and its affiliates, rather than in competitor funds whose fees may be lower.  The government also alleged that CNR failed to fully inform certain prospective customers of fees with respect to its proprietary funds.  The disclosure failures resulted in an undisclosed conflict of interest according to the SEC.  SEC

February 28, 2022

The Income Collecting 1-3 Months T-Bills Mutual Fund and one of its principals, Victor Chilelli, have consented to judgments ordering the return $77 million to investors; litigation against other defendants continues.  The SEC alleges that defendants, including Ofer Abarbanel, defrauded investors by misrepresenting the planned use of their funds, directing customer funds to shell companies under their control in uncollateralized loan transactions, and misappropriating investor funds for high-risk trading. SEC

February 23, 2022

The CFTC settled charges against Richard D. Neal and his company Golden Signals, LLC for failing to register as a commodity trading advisor and commodity pool operator. Neal and Golden Signals, LLC will pay over $2.6 million in restitution, disgorgement, and a civil monetary penalty for the fraud perpetrated over a 5-year period beginning in October 2016. They engaged in binary options solicitation and trading fraud via webpages and social media channels, touting “the highest profit percentage ratings in the world.” Additionally, customers lost over $1.2 million through Neal and Golden Signals’ fraudulent solicitations for binary options signal, trainings, and strategy course offerings. CFTC

February 22, 2022

Healthcare company Baxter International Inc. and two of its former executives have settled claims with the SEC related to reporting of its intra-company foreign exchange transactions.  Baxter agreed to pay a penalty of $18 million; the company’s former treasurer and assistant treasurer will pay penalties of $125,000 and $100,000, respectively.  The SEC alleged that in recording foreign currency transactions recognized by its subsidiaries, Baxter used a foreign exchange rate convention that was not in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles; the company then leveraged this FX convention by engaging in intra-company transactions for the sole purpose of generating FX gains or avoiding FX losses, resulting in material misstatements of its net income.  SEC

February 14, 2022

Zachary Joseph Horwitz, 35, of Los Angeles, CA will spend 20 years in federal prison and was ordered to pay over $230 million in restitution. Horwitz raised $650 million from over 250 investors in his Ponzi scheme—investors who were lied to about future licensing and distribution agreements with online platforms such as Netflix and HBO. Horwitz operated his Ponzi scheme via 1inMM Capital, duping five major groups of private investors through hundreds of 6- and 12-month promissory notes, which he defaulted on. Horwitz initiated the scheme in 2014, and it remained active until his arrest by the FBI in April 2021. USAO CDCA

February 14, 2022

BlockFi, Inc. will pay a total of $100 million to resolve SEC and state claims arising from its sale to retail customers of cryptocurrency lending products, including its BlockFi Interest Accounts.  Through the “BIAs,” investors lent cryptocurrency assets to BlockFi in exchange for the company’s promise to provide a variable monthly interest payment.  The SEC alleged that the BIAs were securities, offered without registration, that BlockFi operated as an unregistered investment company, and made false and misleading statements about risk levels.  SEC

February 11, 2022

Defendants Seyed Taher Kameli and his companies, Chicagoland Foreign Investment Group, LLC and American Enterprise Pioneers, Inc., will pay jointly and severally $1.6 million after entering into a judgment for defrauding EB-5 immigrant investors. Kameli is an immigration attorney, some of whose clients were victims of the fraud. He promised at least 226 foreign investors that their $500,000 investments would finance construction of a senior living project and pave the way for at least 10 permanent full-time jobs, as well as qualifying each investor for a path to permanent U.S. residency. Instead, he commingled and misused some of the $88.7 million raised. Defendants are enjoined from further violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. Kameli also agreed administratively to a 5-year suspension from practicing before the SEC as an attorney. SEC

Precious Metals, Costly Fraud

Posted  02/4/22
stack of coins
Safeguard Metals LLC and its principal, Jeffrey Santulan a/k/a Jeffrey Hill were hit with multiple enforcement actions this week, alleging fraud in their sale of securities and commodities to investors they targeted to sell their existing securities and invest the proceeds into gold and silver coins.  The CFTC and 27 state security regulatory agencies jointly filed one action, and the SEC filed its own action.  Both...

January 20, 2022

Florida resident Mary Kathryn Marr was sentenced to 14 years in prison following her guilty plea on charges related to her role in a criminal enterprise that scammed victims into sending members of the conspiracy funds for fraudulent investments based on high-pressure “boiler room” tactics.  The conspirators operated a network of bank accounts in the names of shell companies into which the boiler room agents, and sometimes Marr herself, instructed victims to send their money.  The victims’ funds were then laundered through more bank accounts and sent overseas.  Marr was also ordered to forfeit various assets, pay a fine of $1.5 million, and pay restitution of $14.5 million to victims.  USAO MD FL
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