The SEC has charged Wendell A. Jacobson and his son Allen R. Jacobson with securities fraud. The two men allegedly ran a $220M Ponzi scam under the guise of selling investments in their real estate business. The Commission claims that father and son violated sections of the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.
The Jacobsons are accused of presenting investors with a chance to place their money in LLC in return for partial ownership in apartment communities that were located in a number of states. The two men, who belonged to Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, solicited other members to invest.
The father and son claimed to have bought apartment complexes at discount prices. They said they would renovate the units, enhance management, and resell properties in 5 years. Investors were told they would be paid their shares in monthly rentals and the future resales.
Per the securities complaint, the father and son team got over $220M from about 225 investors. Securities were sold as investment contracts. No registration statement was submitted to the SEC, which is required under federal securities law.
The Utah securities scam was operated under the umbrella company Management Solutions, Inc. The SEC says the two men behaved as unregistered brokers who made false claims when they told investors that their investment’s principal was safe. They also allegedly misrepresented how the money would be used. Meantime, investors were told that they would get 5-8% annual returns and resale profits.
In fact, says the SEC, not only were the LLCs sustaining major losses, but also the Jacobsons were using investor money to pay for their personal and business expenses. They were also using new investors’ money to and pay earlier investors. The Jacobsons used the Ponzi scam to cause investors, who were getting “returns,” to think that the LLCs were making a profit.
Beginning last year, investors were told that properties were sold and they had made a profit when no sales actually occurred. Instead, the “sales” were used to move investors from and into specific properties.
The SEC is seeking disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, financial penalties, and prejudgment interest.
SEC Halts Father-Son Ponzi Scheme in Utah Involving Purported Real Estate Investments, SEC, December 15, 2011
Mormons fleeced in $220M investment scam: SEC, Investment News, December 16, 2011
More Blog Posts:
Colorado Securities Fraud: Universal Consulting Resources LLC and Owner Richard Dalton to Pay $15.8M to Settle SEC Lawsuit Over Ponzi Scam, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, December 9, 2011
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 Issues Emergency Order to Stop $26M “Green” Ponzi Scam, Institutional Investor Securities Fraud, October 13, 2011
It is not uncommon for fraudsters to use their connections/membership in certain groups to garner trust and recruit prospective investors. This is known as affinity fraud.
Our Utah securities fraud lawyers at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LTD LLP represent Ponzi scam victims. We are a stockbroker fraud law firm that has helped thousands of investors get their money back.