Investment Institution

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Alexandra Robert et al. was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida on July 26, 2022, claiming violations of several provisions of the Securities Act and Securities Exchange Act. Specifically, the SEC seeks permanent injunctive relief against all Defendants in order to prevent future violations of the federal securities laws, disgorgement of any ill-gotten gains, and civil damages.

The SEC brought this action against Defendants Alexandra Robert (“Robert”), the owner, founder, and CEO of Defendants Chalala Academy LLC (“Chalala”), a Florida limited liability company, and Lendvesting Academy Corp. (“Lendvesting”), a Florida-registered corporation formerly operating as a d/b/a of Chalala.

The complaint alleges from at least May 2020 through August 2021, Defendants fraudulently raised approximately $900,000 from roughly 80 investors, mostly Haitian and Haitian-Americans living in South Florida, by offering unregistered “investment programs” falsely promising guaranteed returns of up to 48%. Defendants falsely told investors that they would make interest generating loans to small businesses that would otherwise not qualify for traditional financing, thereby providing investors with high fixed returns.Continue Reading New Complaint – SEC v. Alexandra Robert, et al.

Conlan v. Alternative Asset Management Acquisition Corp. was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado on June 14, 2022, claiming Defendants illegally profited from violations of securities laws. The complaint seeks to avoid multiple actual and constructive fraudulent transfers.

Plaintiff is court-appointed substitute receiver Mark Conlan (the “Receiver”), serving as representative and fiduciary of the creditors of the defendants named in the action brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) captioned United States Securities and Exchange Commission v. Mediatrix Capital Inc., et al., No. 1:19-cv-02594-RM-SKC (the “SEC Action”).  Defendants Alternative Asset Management Acquisition Corp., Autumn Gold Service, Crown Financial Services, Crown Private Limited, Marta Nystrom, Mercury Alternative Fund, Patricia Velcich, Phenom Ventures, Ritossa Investment Holding Ltd., and Y Man Investments are brokers that allegedly received funds in connection with the foreign currency trading scheme at issue in the SEC Action.

The SEC Action names individuals Michael A. Young, Michael S. Stewart, and Bryant E. Sewall and entities Mediatrix Capital Inc. (“Mediatrix”), Blue Isle Markets Inc., and Blue Isle Markets Ltd. (collectively, the “Receivership Defendants”).Continue Reading New Complaint – Conlan v. Alternative Asset Management Acquisition Corp.

Oregon JV LLC v. Advanced Investment et al. was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Oregon on March 2, 2022. Plaintiff asserts claims sounding in fraud and requests compensatory and equitable relief against a construction lender and other individuals and entities that funded various loans to a homebuilder with a history of fraud and embezzlement.

Plaintiff is a company that managed a construction loan pool for non-party Joseph Russi.  Defendant Advanced Investment Corp (“AIC”) is an Oregon-based corporation that previously managed the loan pool at issue. The remaining Defendants consist of trustees of various trusts, Oregon-based financial institutions, and several Oregon residents, all of which were investors in the subject loan pool (the “Defendant Lenders”).Continue Reading New Complaint – Oregon JV LLC v. Advanced Investment et al.

DeCoster v. One Seven d/b/a We Are One Seven, J Wellington Financial, LLC, and Jason Jodway was filed in the Circuit Court for the County of Macomb, Michigan on January 28, 2022, seeking damages and equitable relief along with interest, costs, and attorneys’ fees for claims of negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and negligent supervision.

Plaintiffs Michelle and Lawrence DeCoster are individuals who allegedly fell victim to a Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Heartland Group Ventures, LLC and its affiliates (“Heartland”).  Defendant Jason Jodway (“Jodway”) is alleged to have advised the Plaintiffs to invest in the scheme, and Defendants One Seven d/b/a We are One Seven (“One Seven”) and J Wellington Financial, LLC (“Wellington”) are purportedly liable for the actions of Jodway as their agent, though Jodway’s connection to Wellington is not clear.Continue Reading New Complaint – DeCoster v. One Seven d/b/a We Are One Seven, LLC

Puleo, et al. v. Nelson, et al. was filed in the Central District of California on August 10, 2021, seeking damages based on more than thirty claims for violation of various state and federal securities laws, elder financial abuse, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and conspiracy to commit fraud in connection with a real estate Ponzi scheme.

Plaintiffs are numerous individual and trustee investors who invested in student housing projects either as individuals, through their business enterprises, or as trustees of trusts.  Defendants are Nelson Partners, a California limited liability company that sponsored the offering of the real estate interests, Patrick Nelson as the sole owner, president, and chief executive officer of Nelson Partners (collectively, “Nelson Partners”), Axonic Capital LLC, a hedge fund (“Axonic”), and various other individual and corporate investment advisors and funds affiliated with Nelson Partners and Axonic.Continue Reading New Complaint – Puleo, et al. v. Nelson, et al.

Abidog v. New York Life Insurance Co. was filed in the Superior Court of the State of California on June 18, 2021, seeking damages and rescission of unregistered promissory notes sold in a Ponzi scheme that deprived elderly and other unwitting investors of their life savings.  The fifteen-count complaint alleges violations of California statutory and common law, as well as federal securities law.

Defendant Felix Chu is a former agent of Defendants New York Life Insurance Company and NYLIFE Securities LLC (collectively, “New York Life”) who used his role at New York Life to perpetrate the Ponzi scheme.  Plaintiffs are investors in the scheme.Continue Reading New Complaint – Abidog v. New York Life Insurance Co.

SEC v. The Estate of Kenneth J. Casey is a case filed by the SEC in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California on June 2, 2021, claiming that Kenneth Casey (“Casey”), the founder of Professional Financial Investors, Inc. (“PFI”), a real estate investment and management company, personally misappropriated over $10 million from investors as part of a scheme where Casey falsely told investors that their money would be used to invest in multi-unit residential and commercial real estate. Specifically, the complaint alleges that Casey violated 10(b) of the Exchange Act [15 U.S.C. § 78j(b)] and Rule 10b-5, and Section 17(a) of the Securities Act [15 U.S.C. § 77q(a)].

According to the complaint, Casey’s fraudulent scheme began to unravel shortly after his death, when questions arose about the solvency of PFI and one of Casey’s other companies, PISF. The SEC had previously filed an action against the president of PFI for his role in a fraudulent scheme to misappropriate funds from investors.Continue Reading New Complaint – SEC v. The Estate of Kenneth J. Casey

Whitmore v. Horwitz was filed in the Central District of California on April 20, 2021, seeking class certification and unspecified civil damages. The complaint alleges fraud by omission, aiding and abetting fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty.

Plaintiffs are a group of investors seeking to represent a class of those who invested in Horwitz’s company, 1inMM Capital, LLC (“1inMM”). The defendants are Zachary Horwitz, 1inMM, and City National Bank (“City National”), the bank that Horwitz and 1inMM used.Continue Reading New Complaint – Whitmore v. Horwitz