McGuireWoods’ Ponzi Litigation team launched its Ponzi Perspectives blog in early 2021 to track key decisions and new cases in Ponzi civil and criminal litigation. Ponzi Perspectives focuses on cases and decisions that have the potential to influence controlling law on Ponzi-related issues. The blog also offers analysis of key decisions and practical considerations when
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Swapnil J. Rege and SwapStar Capital, LLC was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey on October 26, 2021, claiming the defendants violated the Investment Advisors Act by engaging in fraudulent or deceptive conduct upon an advisory client and charging Rege with violating a 2019 SEC Order barring him from associating with an investment adviser.
Continue Reading New Complaint – SEC v. Rege, et al.
Securities and Exchange Commission v. BNZ One Capital, LLC, et al. was filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California on October 28, 2021 claiming Defendants violated the antifraud provisions of the Securities Act, the Securities Exchange Act, and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, as well as the registration provisions of the Securities Act. The SEC also brings claims against individual Defendants Barber and Zimmerle for violations of the broker-dealer registration provisions of the Exchange Act and accuses them of being secondarily liable for BNZ’s fraud as control persons pursuant to the Exchange Act.
Continue Reading New Complaint – SEC v. BNZ One Capital, LLC, et al.
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Woods, Livingston Group Asset Management Company d/b/a Southport Capital, and Horizon Private Equity, III, LLC was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia on August 20, 2021. The SEC alleges that Defendants defrauded investors, many of whom were elderly, with illusory promises of guaranteed returns for their investment in the Defendants’ affiliated fund.
Continue Reading New Complaint – SEC v. Woods, et al.
SEC v. Bullard, et al. is a new complaint filed by the SEC in the District of Minnesota on August 27, 2021. The complaint alleges Jason Dodd Bullard and his wife Angela Romero-Bullard (the “Bullards”), the owners of Bullard Enterprises LLC (collectively “Defendants”), defrauded around 200 investors of approximately $17.6 million as part of a Ponzi scheme where the Bullards falsely claimed investors funds would be used to trade foreign currencies. The complaint alleges Defendants violated Section 17(a) of the Securities Act and Section 10(b) and Rule 10-b-5 of the Securities Exchange Act.
Continue Reading New Complaint – SEC v. Bullard, et al.
Securities and Exchange Commission v. MJ Capital Funding, LLC, et al. was filed in the United States District Court, Southern District of Florida on August 9, 2021, claiming that defendant Johanna M. Garcia ran a Ponzi scheme using her companies and co-defendants, MJ Capital Funding, LLC and MJ Taxes and More, Inc., to trick investors into believing they were funding loans to small businesses, when in reality, the investors’ “returns” were funded with money obtained by new investors.
Continue Reading New Complaint – SEC v. MJ Capital Funding, LLC, et al.
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.
The SEC filed SEC v. Silver in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York on April 13, 2021, claiming Defendant Silver orchestrated and carried out a string of frauds to cover up tens of millions of dollars in losses on bad bets to keep his investment advisory business afloat. Specifically, the complaint alleges violations of Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933.
Defendant Silver was the co-founder, managing partner, and chief operating officer of his business, International Investment Group LLC (“IIG”), which specialized in advising clients in investments in emerging market economies. IIG formed three private funds with stated strategies of investing trade finance loans marketed to qualified institutional investors.
The SEC filed SEC v. Horwitz in the Central District of California on April 5, 2021, alleging that Defendant Horowitz violated federal securities laws in connection with fraudulent promissory notes issued by Horwitz’s company. Specifically, the complaint alleges violations of Sections 17(a) of the Securities Act, 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act, and 10b-5 of the Exchange Act Rules.
Defendant Horwitz was the owner and operator of Defendant 1inMM, which purported to be a company in the business of obtaining distribution rights to certain movies in order to license those rights to media companies like Netflix and HBO.