The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has filed securities fraud charges against Inofin Inc. and three of its executives. The SEC contends that they diverted millions of investor funds’ for their personal use and misled investors. For example, the agency contends that Kevin Mann and Michael Cuomo used about third of the investors’ money to start several real-estate property developments and open four used car dealerships.
The agency claims that Mann, Cuomo, & Melissa George acted illegally when the raised $110 million from hundreds of investors in the District of Columbia and 25 states. They allegedly did this with unregistered notes that they told investors were going to be used only for funding subprime auto loans. Meantime, the subprime auto-loan provider’s clients were told that 9-15% returns could be expected because Inofin charged 20% interest rates on average to subprime borrowers.
Inofin is accused of misrepresenting its financial performance between 2006 and 2010, while its executives allegedly prepared and submitted false financial statements to the Massachusetts Division of Banks. SEC says that Inofin’s worsening financial state was caused by the company’s failure to disclose its business activities and because management decided to sell part of its auto loan portfolio at a considerable discount to deal with cash shortages. Meantime, Inofin and its key officers kept selling Inofit securities while allowing investors to keep believing that it was a profitable business and a solid investment.
The SEC has also charged two sales agents, Thomas K. (Kevin) Keough and David Affeldt, because they allegedly offered to sell company securities even though they were not SEC-registered broker-dealers. The agency says that between 2004 and 2009 the men were unjustly enriched by referral fees of over $500,000.
Related Web Resources:
SEC Charges Subprime Auto Loan Lender and Executives with Fraud, SEC, April 14, 2011
Mass. auto lender, executives charged with fraud, Businessweek/Bloomberg, April 14, 2011
Massachusetts Division of Banks
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