Three Fraudsters on a Shopping Spree Met with an Asset Freeze
On July 28, 2016 the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced an asset freeze it has obtained against three men who aren’t registered to sell investments and allegedly went on lavish shopping sprees with more than $5 million raised from investors to purportedly develop a resort.
In an emergency action filed in federal court in Atlanta, the SEC alleges that Matthew White, Rodney Zehner, and Daniel Merandi fraudulently issued $1 billion in unsecured corporate bonds out of a shell company they own and claimed the money would be used to fund the resort project. But they never came close to raising the funds necessary to start the project, and meantime they pocketed the $5.6 million they did raise and used it for personal purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Versace.
The SEC’s complaint filed yesterday alleges that White, Zehner, Merandi, and their companies violated the antifraud provisions of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5. The SEC seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement, and penalties against all of the defendants. The court order obtained late yesterday freezes defendants’ cash held in a brokerage account and freezes the bonds held in a separate brokerage account.
For further information about this securities law blog post, please contact Brenda Hamilton, Securities Attorney at 101 Plaza Real S, Suite 202 N, Boca Raton, Florida, (561) 416-8956, by email at [email protected] or visit www.securitieslawyer101.com. This securities law blog post is provided as a general informational service to clients and friends of Hamilton & Associates Law Group and should not be construed as, and does not constitute legal advice on any specific matter, nor does this message create an attorney-client relationship. Please note that the prior results discussed herein do not guarantee similar outcomes.