The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed charges accusing Austin investment adviser Kurt B. Barton and his two firms, Triton Insurance and Triton Financial, of committing Texas securities fraud and raising over $8.4 million from about 90 investors. Former football stars were used as bait to target former NFL players as potential investment fraud victim.
The SEC claims the defendants used salespersons, stockbrokers, and former football players, including previous Heisman trophy winners and ex-NFL players, to sell Triton securities to potential clients. The agency says that the use of ex-football stars allowed Barton and Triton to appear legitimate and gain investors’ trust.
Potential investors were allegedly told that their money would be used to buy an insurance firm. The SEC claims such representation were bogus. Instead, the agency claims that investors’ funds were used to pay for daily expenses at the two companies.
The Texas State Securities Board began investigating Triton’s business following an article that was published earlier this year in Sports Illustrated describing the defendants’ alleged actions, which included having an ex-NFL quarterback send a mass-email to a number of former NFL players. The SEC contends that during the probe, the defendants gave the TSSB bogus and altered documents.
The defendants have agreed to an asset freeze. The SEC wants to obtain financial penalties and disgorgement of ill-gotten gains from them.
Barton and Triton are not admitting to or denying the SEC allegations. However, in addition to agreeing to permanent injunctions from future securities fraud violations, they will not destroy documents and will provide an accounting.
Texas securities fraud law firm Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas is working with investors that were victimized by this scam. “We are exploring additional avenues of recovery of funds for our clients, in addition to those that are made available through the efforts of regulators,” says Texas securities fraud attorney William Shepherd. “Victims should contact me personally regarding this situation.”
Related Web Resources:
Read the SEC Complaint (PDF)