January 2024 SEC Updates

1. On January 29, 2024, the SEC instituted administrative proceedings against Robert Armijo. Armijo acted as an unregistered broker or dealer by selling securities of the EquiAlt Funds. Armijo was never registered as, or associated with, a registered broker-dealer.  Armijo was barred. https://www.sec.gov/files/litigation/admin/2024/34-99437.pdf 2. On January 25, 2024, the SEC instituted administrative proceedings against Claire … Read More

December 2023 SEC Updates

1. On December 20, 2023, the SEC instituted administrative proceedings against Ted Alexander and Jon Seawright. Alexander and Seawright defrauded investors and obtained money and property by means of materially false statements and that he used the United States mails to make such statements. Alexander and Seawright admitted that he knowingly solicited investors to invest … Read More

November 2023 SEC Updates

1. On November 21, 2023, the SEC filed charges against Brite Advisors USA, Inc., a New York based SEC-registered investment adviser, for failing to comply with Commission requirements for the safekeeping of client assets and for failing to disclose material risks and conflicts of interest associated with Brite USA’s recommendations to clients to use a … Read More

October 2023 SEC Updates

1. On October 31, 2023, the SEC announced fraud charges against Eduardo Hernandez, Christopher Flagg, Daquan Lloyd, and Corey Ortiz, all currently or formerly of Long Island, New York, for perpetrating a multi-year “free-riding” scheme that generated more than $2 million in illicit profits. Hernandez, Flagg, Lloyd and Ortiz opened brokerage accounts (the victim accounts) … Read More

September 2023 SEC Updates

1. On September 29, 2023, The SEC instituted administrative proceedings against Maxim Group, LLC, a registered broker-dealer.  Maxim engaged in facilitating high volume sales of low-priced OTC stock and did not reasonably design or adequately implement its anti-money laundering (“AML”) policies and procedures (“AML Policies”) to reasonably address the risks associated with this business. Maxim … Read More

August 2023 SEC Updates

1. On August 31, 2023, the SEC charged William Conn, Jr., a certified public accountant, for participating in a Ponzi scheme perpetrated by John Woods using an investment fund Woods created and controlled, Horizon Private Equity, III, LLC (“Horizon III”). The SEC also charged Conn with conducting a fraudulent scheme through a different investment fund … Read More

July 2023 SEC Updates

1. On July 26, 2023, the SEC charged Joseph Lewis, a British billionaire, with insider trading.    Lewis is accused of tipping his then-girlfriend, Carolyn Carter, former Miss World U.S. Virgin Islands, and private jet pilots with material nonpublic information.  According to the SEC’s complaint, Lewis, a British national who resides principally in The Bahamas, controls … Read More

June 2023 SEC Updates

1. On June 30, 2023, the SEC announced settled charges against Robert Benecke, the  proprietor of Benecke Economics, for failing to register as a municipal advisor and for failing to disclose material facts about his registration status to his municipal entity clients. Benecke provided municipal advisory services in connection with eight municipal bond issuances for … Read More

May 2023 SEC Updates

1. On May 30, 2023, the SEC announced its settlement with the former head of Wells Fargo & Co.’s Community Bank, Carrie L. Tolstedt, in which she has agreed to pay a $3 million penalty stemming from charges brought in 2020 for her role in allegedly misleading investors about the success of the Community Bank, … Read More

April 2023 SEC Updates

1. One April 26, 2023, the SEC issued a Risk Alert regarding safeguarding customer records and information at branch (remote) offices. Individuals in branch offices often have access to information technology systems that contain customer records and information. While many advisers have implemented safeguarding policies and procedures at their main office, some firms did not … Read More