Gregory Ruehle Charged with Defrauding Investors and Acting as an Unregistered Broker-Dealer
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged an unregistered broker in Oceanside, California with fraudulently selling purported stock in a medical device company and pocketing investors’ money.
On February 10, 2016 the SEC filed fraud charges alleging that Gregory Ruehle raised approximately $1.9 million from more than 100 investors but never delivered or transferred the securities as promised while using the money to pay gambling debts among other personal expenditures.
In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California yesterday announced criminal charges against Ruehle.
According to the SEC’s complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California:
- Ruehle began his scheme as early as 2012, misrepresenting to investors in California and Minnesota that he would sell them his personally-owned securities in a medical device company called ICB International, Inc. He was a former consultant for the company.
- Ruehle, however, sold investors far more securities than he actually owned, and those he did own were not transferable. Ruehle never disclosed these facts to investors.
- Ruehle compounded his fraud by creating fabricated documents that he told investors were from the company.
- He disseminated fake company stock certificates purportedly informing the investor of the number of shares they owned in ICB.
- He transmitted the fake stock certificates with a letter falsely stating that the certificates had been transferred from Ruehle to the investor.
- Ruehle also fabricated and sent investors an additional document that served as a phony confirmation that his shares had been transferred to the investor. The document falsely appeared to be on ICB letterhead and signed by the company’s CEO.
The SEC alleges that Ruehle violated the antifraud provisions of the securities laws in Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933. Finally, the SEC alleges that Ruehle also violated Section 15(a) of the Exchange Act by acting as an unregistered broker-dealer. The SEC’s complaint seeks a permanent injunction, civil penalties, disgorgement plus prejudgment interest, and other relief against Ruehle.
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