Notable litigation filed during June 2023 includes: (1) Bowman v. Unibank; (2) SEC v. Baston; (3) Hafen v. Guyon, et al.; (4) SEC v. Royal Bengal Logistics, et al.; (5) Decimal Capital Partners v. Benavente; and (6) Agri Capital v. Soberal, et al.
Notable litigation filed during May 2023 includes: (1) SEC v. Bartlett; (2) SEC v. Griffin; (3) Warrow v. Turnipseede; and (4) Commodity Future Trading Commission v. Galles.
SEC v. Bartlett, Case No. 8:23-cv-00765 (C.D. Cal.)
The SEC filed suit against defendant schemers in California federal court for an alleged scheme…
McGuireWoods’ Ponzi Litigation team launched its Ponzi Perspectives blog in early 2021. Since that time, we’ve posted detailed case alerts of Ponzi-related complaints filed throughout the country and posted key decisions that have the potential to influence controlling law on Ponzi-related issues involving financial institutions. This 2022 year-end round up summarizes the cases and opinions analyzed…
On August 31, 2022, Plaintiff Melanie E. Damian, in her capacity as the Court-Appointed Receiver for Today’s Growth Consultant, Inc. d/b/a The Income Store (“TGC”) (the “Receiver”) filed a complaint against Defendant Core Financial Outsourcing of Chicago (“Core Financial”) in the Northern District of Illinois (“Damian II”) seeking damages, injunctive relief, interest, and attorneys’ fees and costs. The complaint alleges five claims for professional negligence, aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment, and two violations of the Illinois Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act.
This action stems from a prior enforcement action seeking civil penalties and injunctive relief filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) against TGC and its founder, Kenneth D. Courtright, III (“Courtright”), based upon TGC and Courtright’s alleged violation of federal securities laws and operation of a website services Ponzi scheme.
We previously wrote about PLB Investments LLC et al v. Heartland Bank and Trust Co. et al., a related case initiated by various defrauded investors of TGC against two bank defendants that
Continue Reading New Complaint – Damian as Receiver of Today’s Growth Consultant, Inc. v. Core Financial Outsourcing of Chicago, LLC
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.
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
On the heels of a related action filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on November 12, 2021, Eckfeldt v. Barber was filed in the Superior Court of California, Orange County, on December 9, 2021, claiming breach of contract, fraud, intentional misrepresentation, and conversion.
Continue Reading New Complaint – Eckfeldt v. Barber
Lowry, et al. v. Edelman, et al. was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on September 21, 2021, claiming securities fraud and various state-law causes of action based on a fraudulent scheme to induce investments in cryptocurrency and then embezzle those investments.
Continue Reading New Complaint – Lowry, et al. v. Edelman, et al.
Fatime Abdel-Fakhara, et. al. v. The State of Vermont, et. al., was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Vermont on August 24, 2021 by investors claiming that the State of Vermont and several individual Defendants wrongfully solicited and used investor funds to complete the last two phases of a Vermont ski resort after they had knowledge that the first six phases were funded through a Ponzi scheme. The complaint alleges claims for: (1) civil conspiracy under 42 U.S.C. § 1983; (2) constitutional taking without just compensation against the State of Vermont; (3) constitutional taking with no Due Process against the State of Vermont; and (4) gross negligence against the individual defendants.
Continue Reading New Complaint – Fatime Abdel-Fakhara v. The State of Vermont