Securities and Exchange Commission v. Minuskin, et al. was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California on April 8, 2022, claiming violations of several provisions of the Securities Act and Securities Exchange Act. Specifically, the SEC seeks permanent injunctive relief against all Defendants to prevent future violations of the federal securities laws, disgorgement of any ill-gotten gains, and civil penalties.

The SEC brought this action against Julie Minuskin (“Minuskin”), Dennis DiRicco (“DiRicco”), Thomas Casey (“Casey”), Golden Genesis, Inc. (“Golden Genesis”), and Joshua Stoll (“Stoll”) (collectively “Defendants”).  According to the complaint, Defendant Minuskin created Retire Happy LLC (“Retire Happy”), a Nevada limited liability company, which specialized in self-directed IRAs and provided financial education on how to leverage retirement accounts and create passive income by promoting self-directed retirement accounts. Defendant DiRicco was the Chief Financial Officer and board member of Defendant Golden Genesis and the managing member of non-party Until Tomorrow LLC (“Until Tomorrow”). Defendant Casey is the majority owner, Chief Executive Officer, and board member of Defendant Golden Genesis. Defendant Stoll was an account specialist at Retire Happy.

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Securities Exchange Commission v. David J. Bunevacz et al. was filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California on April 5, 2022, seeking an injunctive relief, disgorgement, and civil penalties. Specifically, the complaint alleges violations of federal securities laws, including Sections 10(b) and 10b-5 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Sections 17(a), 5(a) and 5(c) of the Securities Act of 1933.

The SEC brought this enforcement action against David J. Bunevacz (“Bunevacz”) and two entities under his control, Caesarbrutus LLC and CB Holding Group Corp., along with his stepdaughter Mary Hayca Bunevacz (“Mary Hayca”).  Bunevacz and his entities are engaged in the production and sale of cannabis products, particularly “vape” pens infused with Cannabidiol (“CBD”).

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Chan v. Anthony, et al. was filed in the District Court for Denver County, Colorado on March 1, 2022, asserting claims under the Colorado Securities Act for securities fraud, investment advisor fraud, unlicensed broker/dealer activity, unlicensed investment adviser activity, and unregistered securities.

Tung Chan (“Chan”), Colorado’s Securities Commissioner, brought this action against Defendant David Anthony (“Anthony”) and nine unlicensed investment companies that he owned and operated (collectively with Anthony, the “Defendants”).  Chan also included Anthony’s wife as a relief defendant to claw back funds from the scheme used for the Anthonys’ personal expenses.

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Aarus Enterprises LLC v. Burgerim Group USA, Inc. was filed in the Superior Court of California for the County of Los Angeles on February 15, 2022, seeking civil damages from a fraudulent investment scheme involving the purchase and sale of fast-food burger franchises. Specifically, the complaint alleges promissory fraud, intentional misrepresentation, and concealment.

Plaintiffs include over fifteen individuals and entities who invested in the burger franchises. The Defendants are the burger franchise Burgerim Group USA, Inc. (“Burgerim”) and unnamed individuals who participated in the scheme.

Plaintiffs contend they were presented the chance to invest in Burgerim, which represented itself as the fastest growing fast-food burger franchise.  Burgerim told investors they could purchase a franchise for $50,000, a portion of which could be financed or paid later.  Burgerim also offered to assist with real estate transactions in opening the franchise restaurants.  But Burgerim did not deliver on those promises.  Instead, it gave investors unrealistic financing options and unworkable estimates for construction timelines and costs.  Burgerim also hid from investors that it used new franchisees’ fees to repay existing franchisees and received kickbacks from vendors, real estate agents, and other representatives.

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Bui v. Nguyen was filed in California Superior Court on December 30, 2021, claiming relief for civil damages. Specifically, the complaint alleges claims for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, promissory fraud, constructive fraud, fraudulent concealment, and conversion.

Plaintiffs are three individuals who invested funds with Defendants The Church for the Healthy Self a/k/a CHS Trust (“Defendant Church”), its pastor Kent Whitney (“Whitney”), other individuals touting the alleged scheme, and various television stations.

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Andersen, et al. v. Gigapix Studios, Inc. was filed in the Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento on January 13, 2022 seeking civil damages for claims of fraud and misrepresentation.

Plaintiffs are a group of individuals who invested in Defendant Gigapix Studios, Inc. (“Gigapix”).  Gigapix is an animation company that solicited investors by advertising that it would generate large profits from prospective projects.

Plaintiffs allege that Gigapix was founded by Christopher Blauvelt and led by David Pritchard, who purchased investor lead lists and hired telemarketers to solicit potential investors.  Investors were told that Gigapix was an animation company on the verge of an initial public offering or reverse merger with a public company that would net high returns for investors.  In reality, however, Plaintiffs allege that Gigapix was a Ponzi scheme that materially misrepresented the funds that would be spent on producing shows and movies, the anticipated timing of returns on investment, the level of risk involved, and the success of prior Gigapix projects.

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Freitag, as Receiver for ANI Development LLC v. Dean Libs, et al. was filed in the Southern District of California on January 25, 2022, asserting one claim for fraudulent transfer.

Plaintiff is the court-appointed permeant receiver for ANI Development LLC (“ANI Development”), American National Investments, Inc., and their subsidiaries and affiliates (“Receivership Entities”) in an action titled SEC v. Gina Champion-Cain, et al., Case No. 3:19-cv-01628-LAB-AHG (“SEC Action”).  Plaintiff was appointed Receiver in the SEC Action and was vested with exclusive authority and control over the assets of the Receivership Entities, as well as investigatory powers.  This action is against Defendant Dean Libs, in his individual capacity, and Defendant Dean Libs Inc., a California corporation.

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Heinen v. iDigrati, LLC, et al. was filed in the Superior Court of Gwinnett County, Georgia on December 16, 2021, claiming civil damages for breach of contract and state securities violations in connection with purported investments in promissory notes sold by Defendants.

Plaintiff is an individual who invested $200,000 with Defendant in exchange for a promissory note. Defendants are the investment company, iDigrati, LLC (“iDigrati”) and its two operating individuals, Narendra Patel and Bruce Rowland.  Rowland is deceased and is represented by his estate in this action.

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Geoff Winkler, as Receiver for Profit Connect Wealth Services, Inc. v. William Roshak, et al.  was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada on November 4, 2021 asserting claims for (1) fraudulent transfer; (2) unjust enrichment; (3) declaratory relief; and (4) attorneys’ fees and costs.

Plaintiff is the court-appointed receiver of Profit Connect Wealth Services, Inc. (“Profit Connect”) in an action titled Securities and Exchange Commission v. Profit Connect Wealth Services, Inc., et al., Case No. 21-cv-01298-JAD-BNW (D. Nev.) (the “SEC Action”). Plaintiff was appointed as the Receiver in that matter and granted broad authority to investigate claims and institute actions and legal proceedings on behalf of Profit Connect and its investors. This action is against Defendants William Roshak in his individual capacity and d/b/a/ William George Photography, Melissa Roshak, Tetiana Luzhanska, and Tina M. Leiss, in her sole capacity as the executive officer of the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Nevada (“PERS”).

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