Articles Posted in It Would Be Funny If It Were Not True

South Florida Ponzi Scheme, Boiler Room and Movie Fraud and Misrepresentation Litigation and Arbitration Attorney:

SEC Charges Three California Residents Behind Movie Investment Scam

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently charged three California residents with defrauding investors in a purported multi-million dollar movie project that would supposedly star well-known actors and generate exorbitant investment returns.

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Brett A. Cooper, Global Funding Systems LLC, Dream Holdings, LLC, Fortitude Investing, LLC, Peninsula Waterfront Development, LP, and REOP Group Inc. and David H. Frederickson and The Law Offices of David H. Frederickson, Civil Action No. 1:13-cv-05781-RMB-AMD (D.N.J.) and 1:13-cv-05787-RMB-AMD (D.N.J.)

SEC Charges New Jersey Resident in Prime Bank Investment Scheme and Files Settled Charges Against California Attorney Escrow Agent

Recently, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed an enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey against New Jersey resident Brett A. Cooper and his companies Global Funding Systems LLC, Dream Holdings, LLC, Fortitude Investing, LLC, Peninsula Waterfront Development, LP and REOP Group Inc., who from at least November 2008 through about April 2012 perpetrated three fraudulent schemes and engaged in various fraudulent and deceitful acts, practices and courses of business in furtherance of those schemes.

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Frank Dappah and Yatalie Capital Management, et al., Civil Action No. 3:13-cv-00546 (W.D.N.C.)

SEC Charges Charlotte Investment Advisors with Excessive Fee Scheme

Recently, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed an action in federal court in the Western District of North Carolina, charging Frank Dappah of Charlotte, NC, and his firm, Yatalie Capital Management (a/k/a Yatalie Capital Management Co, Creato Funds L.P., a/k/a Yatalie Capital, Inc., a/k/a Creato Funds, L.P., a/k/a Yatalie Capital Management Co.), a sole proprietorship, with violations of the federal securities laws for charging grossly excessive fees to their advisory clients without authorization or notice and other violations. The Commission’s complaint seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains with prejudgment interest, civil penalties, and an asset freeze against the defendants.

SEC Charges Father and Son in South Carolina for Fraudulent Program Designed to Profit From Fate of Terminally Ill

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently charged a father and son in Lexington, S.C., with operating a fraudulent investment program designed to illegally profit from the deaths of terminally ill individuals.

The SEC alleges that Benjamin S. Staples and his son Benjamin O. Staples deceived brokerage firms and bond issuers and made at least $6.5 million in profits by lying about the ownership interest in bonds they purchased in joint brokerage accounts opened with people facing imminent death who were concerned about affording the high costs of a funeral. The Stapleses recruited the terminally ill individuals into their program by offering to pay their funeral expenses if they agreed to open the joint accounts and sign documents that relinquished their ownership rights to the accounts or any assets in them.

Securities and Exchange Commission Charges Operator of Miami-Dade County’s Largest Hospital with Misleading Investors about Financial Condition

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) recently charged the operator of the largest hospital in Miami-Dade County with misleading investors about the extent of its deteriorating financial condition prior to an $83 million bond offering.

An SEC investigation found that the Public Health Trust, which is the governing authority for Jackson Health System, misstated present and future revenues due to breakdowns in a new billing system that inaccurately recorded revenue and patient accounts receivable. The Public Health Trust projected a non-operating loss in the official statement accompanying the bond offering in August 2009, but reported a figure that was more than four times lower than what was ultimately reported at the end of the 2009 fiscal year. The Public Health Trust also failed to properly account for an adverse arbitration award, and misrepresented that its financial statements were prepared according to U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

City of Miami and Michael Boudreaux – South Florida (Miami) Municipal Bond Offering Fraud and Misrepresentation Litigation and FINRA Arbitration Attorney:

Securities and Exchange Commission v. City of Miami, Florida, and Michael Boudreaux, Civil Action No. 1:13-cv-22600 (U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, filed July 19, 2013)

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it recently charged the City of Miami and its former Budget Director with securities fraud in connection with several municipal bond offerings and other disclosures made to the bond investing public. The SEC’s action also charges the City with violating a 2003 SEC Cease-and-Desist Order which was entered against the City based on similar misconduct. This case is the SEC’s first ever injunctive action against a municipality already under an existing SEC cease-and-desist order.

Securities and Exchange Commission v. MayfieldGentry Realty Advisors, LLC, et al., Civil Action No. 13-cv-12520 (E.D. Mich.)

SEC Charges Top Officials At Investment Adviser in Scheme to Hide Theft from Pension Fund of Detroit Police and Firefighters

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) recently charged the leader of a Detroit-based investment adviser for stealing nearly $3.1 million from the pension fund that the firm manages for the city’s police officers and firefighters so he could buy two strip malls in California. The SEC charged four other top officials at the firm for helping him try to cover up the theft.

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Detroit Memorial Partners, LLC and Mark Morrow, Civil Action No. 1:13-cv-1817-WSD, United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia

SEC Charges Cincinnati Resident and Delaware Firm with Offering Fraud

Recently, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil injunctive action in the Northern District of Georgia against Detroit Memorial Partners, LLC (“DMP”) and its managing member, Mark Morrow, a resident of Cincinnati, Ohio. The Commission alleges that Morrow caused DMP to issue approximately $19 million in fraudulent promissory notes and to sell $4.5 million in equity interests. DMP, which purported to be in the business of operating cemeteries, made material misrepresentations and omissions to investors who purchased the promissory notes and equity interests. Most significantly, DMP and Morrow misrepresented that it owned various cemetery properties and that the notes would be secured by those properties in Michigan. In fact, DMP did not own any cemetery properties and none of the notes were secured. Defendants also misrepresented that the proceeds from the notes would be used to acquire and manage cemeteries. In fact, significant amounts of the proceeds were used to fund Morrow’s personal equity interest in DMP, for high risk trading in securities and to pay interest owed to other DMP note holders. Morrow also falsely told the equity investors that DMP was debt free, while knowing that DMP had incurred substantial obligations to the note holders.

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently charged NASDAQ with securities laws violations resulting from its poor systems and decision-making during the initial public offering (IPO) and secondary market trading of Facebook shares. NASDAQ has agreed to settle the SEC’s charges by paying a $10 million penalty – the largest ever against an exchange.

Exchanges have an obligation to ensure that their systems, processes, and contingency planning are robust and adequate to manage an IPO without disruption to the market. According to the SEC’s order instituting settled administrative proceedings, despite widespread anticipation that the Facebook IPO would be among the largest in history with huge numbers of investors participating, a design limitation in NASDAQ’s system to match IPO buy and sell orders caused disruptions to the Facebook IPO. NASDAQ then made a series of ill-fated decisions that led to the rules violations.

According to the SEC’s order, several members of NASDAQ’s senior leadership team convened a “Code Blue” conference call and decided not to delay the start of secondary market trading in Facebook with the expectation that they had fixed the system limitation by removing a few lines of computer code. However, they did not understand the root cause of the problem. NASDAQ’s decision to initiate trading before fully understanding the problem caused violations of several rules, including NASDAQ’s fundamental rule governing the price/time priority for executing trade orders. The problem caused more than 30,000 Facebook orders to remain stuck in NASDAQ’s system for more than two hours when they should have been promptly executed or cancelled.

City of South Miami, Florida – Tax Exempt Bond – Florida FINRA Arbitration and State and Federal Court Litigation Attorney:

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently charged the City of South Miami, Fla., with defrauding bond investors about the tax-exempt financing eligibility of a mixed-use retail and parking structure being built in its downtown commercial district.

An SEC investigation found that the city of 11,000 residents located in Miami-Dade County borrowed approximately $12 million in two pooled, conduit bond offerings through the Florida Municipal Loan Council (FMLC). South Miami’s participation in those offerings enabled it to borrow funds at advantageous tax-exempt rates. The city represented that the project was eligible for tax-exempt financing in various documents for the second offering that were relied upon by bond counsel in rendering its tax opinion. However, South Miami failed to disclose that it had actually jeopardized the tax-exempt status of both bond offerings by impermissibly loaning proceeds from the first offering to a private developer and restructuring a lease agreement prior to the second offering.

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