Colorado Securities Fraud: Universal Consulting Resources LLC and Owner Richard Dalton to Pay $15.8M to Settle SEC Lawsuit Over Ponzi Scam

The Securities and Exchange Commission says that it has resolved its Colorado securities fraud lawsuit against Universal Consulting Resources LLC (UCR) and the financial firm’s owner, Richard Dalton. Per the agreement, both will pay $15,842,948, including a $7,549,458 penalty, over allegations that investors were given materially misleading and false information about the Diamond Program and the Trading Program, which are investment contracts.

According to the United States District Court for the District of Colorado, which is where the judgments were entered, Dalton told investors they would get yearly profits of 48-120%. In actuality, he was running a Ponzi scam.

The SEC contends that Dalton raised about $17 million from 130 investors located in 13 US states. He told Trading Program investors that their money would be held in an escrow account with an American bank and that a European trader would use the account’s value to get leveraged funds to buy and sell bank notes. Under the Diamond Program, profits were supposed to come from the trading of diamonds.

In actuality, Dalton used $2.5 million of investor funds for personal expenses. New investors’ money was also used to pay existing investors their investment “profits.”

UCR and Dalton are permanently enjoined from further violations of:

• Securities Act of 1933, sections 17(a) and 5 • Securities Exchange Act of 1934, section 10b • Rule 10b-5 thereunder
Dalton also is enjoined from violating Exchange Act Section 15(a).

Named as a relief defendant is Marie Dalton, who is Richard’s wife. The SEC claims that she used more than $900,000 in investor money to buy a home in Colorado. The court has ordered her to disgorge $115,000 in investor money.

A few months ago, the couple was charged in criminal court with conspiracy, interstate transportation of stolen funds, and wire fraud.

Ponzi Scams

With hardly (if any at all) actual earnings made, Ponzi scams can collapse suddenly when the money from new investors starts to dry up or too many current investors decide to pull out. Most Ponzi schemes work for as long as they do because investors believe that they are making a real profit rather than just being given other people’s investment money.

According to the SEC, the Daltons stopped issuing payments to investors when they found out they were under investigation. They then continued to tell investors that their payments were coming but had been delayed. For example, investors were led to believe that a plane transporting diamonds was forced to land Holland. Another excuse that investors were given is that 18,000 diamonds turned out to be fake.

Golden couple accused of Ponzi scheme, arrested, Business Journal, September 30, 2011

More Blog Posts:

Former Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC Employee Faces SEC Charges for Creating Fake Trades to Enable Ponzi Scam, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, November 23, 2011
SEC Files Charges in $27M Washington DC Ponzi Scam, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, November 21, 2011
SEC Issues Emergency Order to Stop $26M “Green” Ponzi Scam, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, October 13, 2011
Our stockbroker fraud law firm at Shepherd Smith Edwards & Kantas LTD LLP represents Ponzi scam victims seeking to recoup their lost funds.