We are providing FREE consultations via PHONE or VIDEO conferencing for your safety and convenience. Read More!

A National Securities Arbitration & Investment Fraud Law Firm

Facebook IconTwitter IconLinkedIn IconJustia IconFeed Icon

Articles Posted in SEC Actions

Published on:

On April 21, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a Complaint for Injunctive and Other Relief (Complaint) against Steven L. Brickner. According to the SEC, Brickner “falsely represented to prospective investors that he would use their money to purchase the assets of a Colorado-licensed marijuana dispensary network . . .” and ultimately net investors substantial gains through a reverse merger IPO. In reality, Brickner did not own the assets he represented to investors and never filed any necessary documents to complete his promised merger or IPO. Instead, the SEC alleges that from 2015 to 2019, “Brickner misappropriated approximately $3 million of investor money to fund his lavish lifestyle.” According to the SEC’s press release regarding this matter, Brickner had more than 60 victims, most of whom were retail investors. The SEC alleges that Brickner violated various provisions of the federal securities laws. As part of the fraud, the SEC explained that Brickner, a 48-year-old Central Florida resident, operated FirstCanna Pharmaceuticals LLC, FirstCanna Financial LLC, FirstCanna Insurance LLC, and High Country Healing Co. LLC. The SEC Complaint highlights that Brickner’s LinkedIn profile and other background information create a façade of past success running a series of venture capital, finance, and other commercial companies in the Tampa, Florida area. However, Hillsborough County court records indicate that Brickner and one of Brickner’s prior ventures, VC Financial Management, LLC, were accused of defrauding a Tampa-based tech startup startup in or around 2014.  The SEC Complaint also indicates that Brickner filed for bankruptcy in 2016 and did not file a tax return in 2014 “because he had no taxable income.” This was far from the successful venture capitalist turned entrepreneur Brickner held himself out to be.On April 21, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a Complaint for Injunctive and Other Relief (Complaint) against Steven L. Brickner. According to the SEC, Brickner “falsely represented to prospective investors that he would use their money to purchase the assets of a Colorado-licensed marijuana dispensary network . . .” and ultimately net investors substantial gains through a reverse merger IPO. In reality, Brickner did not own the assets he represented to investors and never filed any necessary documents to complete his promised merger or IPO. Continue reading

Published on:

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is accusing Florida-based real estate firm EquiAlt LLC, and its owner and managing director, with running a Ponzi scheme that raised over $170 million from 1,100 investors and misappropriated millions of dollars to pay for personal luxury items including sports cars and private jet travel.The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is accusing Florida-based real estate firm EquiAlt LLC, and its owner and managing director, with running a Ponzi scheme that raised over $170 million from 1,100 investors and misappropriated millions of dollars to pay for personal luxury items including sports cars and private jet travel.

Did you lose money with EquiAlt? Call our attorneys toll free at (800)-975-4345 or e-mail ssilver@silverlaw.com for a no-cost confidential consultation about options to recover your losses. Continue reading

Published on:

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it obtained a temporary restraining order and filed an emergency enforcement action against Kenneth D. Courtright III and his company, Todays Growth Consultant Inc. The actions by the SEC are related to an alleged “Ponzi-like scheme” that raised more than $75 million from over 500 investors. The Income Store Promised High Returns The SEC’s complaint, unsealed Jan 14, 2020, states that Courtright and Todays Growth Consultant Inc. (TGC), which also did business under the name “The Income Store”, promised investors high rates of return from revenues from websites.The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it obtained a temporary restraining order and filed an emergency enforcement action against Kenneth D. Courtright III and his company, Todays Growth Consultant Inc.

The actions by the SEC are related to an alleged “Ponzi-like scheme” that raised more than $75 million from over 500 investors. Continue reading

Published on:

Silver Law Group represents investors in securities arbitration claims relating to variable annuities. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating the Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company (Valic), an American International Group, Inc. (AIG) subsidiary that specializes in retirement plans for schools, colleges, and not-for-profit organizations.Silver Law Group represents investors in securities arbitration claims relating to variable annuities.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating the Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company (Valic), an American International Group, Inc. (AIG) subsidiary that specializes in retirement plans for schools, colleges, and not-for-profit organizations. Continue reading

Published on:

Registered Investment Advisor McDermott Investment Advisors (MIA) and its founder Dean Patrick McDermott are the subject of a lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for allegedly “double dipping” on fees by investing clients in securities that paid fees to an affiliated broker-dealer, rather than a cheaper alternative. Clients Charged Unnecessary Transaction Fees The lawsuit alleges that McDermott and MIA put over $5.7 million of its client’s assets into unit investment trusts (UITs) that charged a transaction fee, most of which was paid to a broker-dealer that was owned by McDermott, rather than a UIT with no transaction fee.Registered Investment Advisor McDermott Investment Advisors (MIA) and its founder Dean Patrick McDermott are the subject of a lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for allegedly “double dipping” on fees by investing clients in securities that paid fees to an affiliated broker-dealer, rather than a cheaper alternative.

Clients Charged Unnecessary Transaction Fees

The lawsuit alleges that McDermott and MIA put over $5.7 million of its client’s assets into unit investment trusts (UITs) that charged a transaction fee, most of which was paid to a broker-dealer that was owned by McDermott, rather than a UIT with no transaction fee. Continue reading

Published on:

The SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) has filed a lawsuit against barred advisor Marcus Boggs, who formerly worked for Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, for allegedly stealing over $1.7 million from his clients. According to the SEC’s civil complaint, Boggs is accused of transferring money from three of his client’s accounts to his personal credit card account more than 200 times to pay for huge credit card purchases.The SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) has filed a lawsuit against barred advisor Marcus Boggs, who formerly worked for Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, for allegedly stealing over $1.7 million from his clients.

According to the SEC’s civil complaint, Boggs is accused of transferring money from three of his client’s accounts to his personal credit card account more than 200 times to pay for huge credit card purchases. Continue reading

Published on:

On August 29, 2019, the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) announced an award of over $1.8 million for a whistleblower “whose information and assistance were critically important to the success of an enforcement action involving misconduct committed overseas.” According to a press release from the SEC, the whistleblower alerted the agency to the violations and helped greatly during the investigation. The whistleblower, who was not identified, gave sworn testimony, reviewed documents, and gave ongoing new information that helped move the investigation forward.On August 29, 2019, the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) announced an award of over $1.8 million for a whistleblower “whose information and assistance were critically important to the success of an enforcement action involving misconduct committed overseas.”

According to a press release from the SEC, the whistleblower alerted the agency to the violations and helped greatly during the investigation. The whistleblower, who was not identified, gave sworn testimony, reviewed documents, and gave ongoing new information that helped move the investigation forward. Continue reading

Published on:

On February 26, 2019, the SEC announced charges and an asset freeze against the people behind a South Florida investment scheme. One of the people behind the scheme has a felony conviction, was in prison for 20 years, and is now out on parole. Castleberry Financial Services Group LLC, managed by T. Jonathon Turner and CEO Normal Strell, has allegedly taken approximately $3.6 million from investors over the past year. The SEC filed an emergency action against them in district court, stating that Castleberry lied to its investors, claiming that it had hundreds of millions of dollars of capital invested in various businesses. The company also claimed that it had ties with CNA Financial Corp. and Chubb Group. Castleberry claimed that any investments would be protected and insured by those companies, which the SEC alleges is untrue.On February 26, 2019, the SEC announced charges and an asset freeze against the people behind a South Florida investment scheme. One of the people behind the scheme has a felony conviction, was in prison for 20 years, and is now out on parole.

Castleberry Financial Services Group LLC, managed by T. Jonathon Turner and CEO Normal Strell, has allegedly taken approximately $3.6 million from investors over the past year. The SEC filed an emergency action against them in district court, stating that Castleberry lied to its investors, claiming that it had hundreds of millions of dollars of capital invested in various businesses. The company also claimed that it had ties with CNA Financial Corp. and Chubb Group. Castleberry claimed that any investments would be protected and insured by those companies, which the SEC alleges is untrue. Continue reading

Published on:

Registered investment advisor Direct Lending Investments, LLC (CRD# 282476) has been sued by the SEC with multiple fraud charges relating to $11 million in management and performance fee overcharges on private placements. The company also falsified loan repayment information and inflated their annual returns for many years. The suit was filed on March 22 in Los Angeles.A DLI employee notified the SEC that Direct Lending’s founder, Brendan Ross, “knowingly engaged in a multi-year scheme to mask the poor performance of one of the funds’ largest investments,” the SEC said in its lawsuit. Ross engineered loans that were valued “at par,” but should have been valued at zero. Ross also over-stated the company’s valuation of one of its loans, to a company called Quarterspot, an online small-business lender.Registered investment advisor Direct Lending Investments, LLC (CRD# 282476) has been sued by the SEC with multiple fraud charges relating to $11 million in management and performance fee overcharges on private placements. The company also falsified loan repayment information and inflated their annual returns for many years. The suit was filed on March 22 in Los Angeles. Continue reading

Published on:

FINRA-Permanently-Bars-Gary-Eugene-Donovan-for-Stock-Manipulation-300x200The SEC obtained a preliminary injunction against two individuals and their companies on October 26, 2018. The fraudulent actions of these individuals resulted in more than $165 million of illegal sales and stock in at least 50 microcap companies.

According to the SEC, U.K. citizen Roger Knox and his Swiss-based company, Wintercap SA, was involved in antifraud and violating federal securities laws. German citizen Michael T. Gastauer and six of his entities were involved in aiding and abetting Knox and Wintercap’s violations of the same provisions. The court had originally entered a temporary restraining order and asset freeze on October 2, 2018.

The SEC’s complaint states that Knox and Wintercap aided microcap securities holders in evading federal securities laws that restrict sales by large shareholders. Knox and Wintercap gave anonymous access to brokerage accounts in order to sell shares in the U.S. market. They also helped sellers conceal the amount of stock they wanted to sell. Gastauer allegedly established several U.S. corporations to aid and abet the fraud, and allowed Knox to use certain bank accounts to distribute the proceeds of his illegal stock sales.

Contact Information