SEC Obtains Asset Freeze and Other Relief in $4 Million Offering Fraud
Recently, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) obtained a temporary restraining order and an emergency asset freeze in a $4 million offering fraud and Ponzi scheme orchestrated by Steven B. Heinz (Heinz) and his company S.B. Heinz & Associates, Inc. (S.B. Heinz), a financial planning and insurance agency located in Provo, Utah.
The complaint alleges that since January 1, 2012, Heinz acted as an investment adviser and solicited nearly $4 million from more than fifteen former clients, family members, and friends to enable him, through his company S.B. Heinz, to execute rapid buy and sell orders of futures contracts. The complaint further alleges that investor funds are being used to falsely create the appearance of a successful investment business although S.B. Heinz has actually lost approximately $1.5 million executing Heinz’s high risk futures contract trading activities. In addition, the complaint alleges that Heinz pays “returns” to earlier investors using new investor funds, used investor funds for his own personal purposes and that S.B. Heinz used investor funds to pay business expenses, including the salary for its secretary and its office rent.
The Commission’s complaint charges Heinz and S.B. Heinz with violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. The complaint seeks a preliminary and permanent injunction as well as disgorgement, prejudgment interest and civil penalties from Heinz and S.B. Heinz. The complaint also names Susan K. Heinz, Heinz’s wife, as a relief defendant and seeks disgorgement and prejudgment interest from her.
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