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Russell L. Forkey

Robert C. Rice - South Florida Fraudulent Trading Program and Prime Bank Guarantee Litigation and Arbitration Attorney

South Florida Fraudulent Trading Program and Prime Bank Guarantee Litigation and Arbitration Attorney:

Securities and Exchange Commission v. K2 Unlimited, Inc., 211 Ventures, LLC, Diane Glatfelter, Robert Rice, and Robert Anderson, Civil Action No. 1:11-cv-11649

SEC Obtains Final Judgment Against Defendant in Fictitious Investment Scheme

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced that on April 4, 2014, a Massachusetts federal court entered a final judgment by consent against defendant Robert C. Rice, of Tallahassee, Florida, in a securities fraud case filed by the Commission in 2011. The final judgment, entered by the Honorable Mark L. Wolf, imposes on Rice a permanent injunction against future violations of antifraud and other provisions of the federal securities laws and orders him to pay disgorgement, prejudgment interest and a civil penalty totaling $525,896.51.

In its Complaint, filed September 19, 2011, the Commission alleged that beginning in 2007, Rice, with other defendants, purported to offer direct investments in fraudulent trading programs involving "bank guarantees," promising sky-high returns with guarantees against loss. In fact, the Commission alleges that the bank guarantees were fictional and the trading programs non-existent, and that Rice and other defendants together defrauded investors of more than $1.8 million. The final judgment permanently enjoins Rice from violating Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933; Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder; Sections 5(a) and 5(c) of the Securities Act; and Section 15(a) of the Exchange Act. The final judgment also ordered that Rice is liable for disgorgement in the amount of $310,500, representing profits gained as a result of the conduct alleged in the Complaint, with prejudgment interest of $85,396.51, and imposed a civil penalty in the amount of $130,000. Rice consented to the entry of the final judgment without admitting or denying the allegations in the Commission's Complaint.

On March 13, 2013, the court entered final judgments by default against defendants 211 Ventures, LLC, and Robert S. Anderson, imposing judgments totaling more than $2.3 million in disgorgement, prejudgment interest and civil penalties, and permanently enjoining both defendants from future violations of the antifraud and other provisions of the federal securities laws. The Commission's case against defendants Diane Glatfelter and K2 Unlimited, Inc. continues.

Contact Us:

With extensive courtroom, arbitration and mediation experience and an in-depth understanding of elder abuse, exploitation and securities law, our firm provides all of our clients with the personal service they deserve. Handling cases worth $25,000 or more, we represent clients throughout Florida and across the United States, as well as for foreign individuals that invested in U.S. banks or brokerage firms. Contact us to arrange your free initial consultation.

At the Fort Lauderdale Law Office of Russell L. Forkey, we represent clients throughout South and Central Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Sunrise, Plantation, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Delray, Boynton Beach, Hollywood, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Manalapan, Jupiter, Gulf Stream, Wellington, Fort Pierce, Stuart, Palm City, Jupiter, Miami, Orlando, Maitland, Winter Park, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Heathrow, Melbourne, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, Vero Beach, Daytona Beach, Deland, New Smyrna Beach, Ormand Beach, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Dade County, Orange County, Seminole County, Martin County, Brevard County, Indian River County, Volusia County and Monroe County, Florida. The law office of Russell L. Forkey also represents South American, Canadian and other foreign residents that do business with U.S. financial institutions, investment advisors, brokerage and precious metal firms.

Timothy J. Coughlin, Oxford International Credit Union and Oxford International Cooperative Union - South Florida Internet Ponzi Scheme and Securities Fraud and Misrepresentation Litigation and Arbitration Attorney

South Florida Internet Ponzi Scheme and Securities Fraud and Misrepresentation FINRA Arbitration and Florida State and Federal Litigation Attorney:

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Timothy J. Coughlin, et al., Civil Action No. 1:14-cv-00562-WTL-MJD (S.D. Ind.)

SEC Charges Indiana Man for Defrauding Investors in "Credit Union" Ponzi Scheme

Recently, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed an action charging Indianapolis-based Timothy J. Coughlin, 63, and two entities that did business as "Oxford International Credit Union" or "Oxford International Cooperative Union" with conducting an Internet offering fraud in which investors lost millions of dollars by investing funds in a fictitious credit union. The complaint alleges that between June 2007 and December 2009, Coughlin and Oxford International Credit Union collected deposits from more than 5,000 investors exceeding $12.8 million dollars. Approximately 3,300 of the investors were U.S. residents, with victims residing in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The SEC's complaint alleges that Coughlin misappropriated investor money to pay personal expenses, fund unrelated business expenses, and make distributions to other investors in a classic Ponzi-scheme fashion.

According to the SEC's complaint, to further the fraud, the defendants posted false information to investors' online accounts to create the appearance that their deposits in the fake credit union were earning substantial daily investment returns. The Oxford International Credit Union website (www.oxfordicu.com), for example, showed investors that their deposits were purportedly earning investment returns that averaged, during the January 2007 through December 2009 period, 0.471% each trading day, equating to an approximately 356% average annual rate of return. According to the complaint, however, the defendants did not actually make investments with the members' deposits sufficient to generate the returns they boasted. Coughlin and Oxford International Credit Union also falsely claimed that member accounts were insured by a private insurance company. Then, beginning in December 2008, Coughlin began operating a successor to Oxford International Credit Union, called Oxford International Cooperative Union, which also boasted bogus investment returns on its website (www.oxfordprivacygroup.com) its inception in late 2008 through December 2011.

The SEC's complaint alleges that Coughlin misappropriated at least $5.97 million and used investor money for illegitimate purposes, including $1.57 million used for personal expenditures and $4.4 million (or approximately 35%) to pay other investors who had requested withdrawals from their Oxford International Credit Union accounts . Coughlin also transferred money from Oxford International Credit Union's accounts to bank accounts he controlled in the names of two relief defendants.

According to the SEC's complaint, in late 2008 and 2009, Coughlin began to deny investors' requests for withdrawals from their accounts. To explain his refusal to allow investors to access their funds, Coughlin falsely claimed that Internal Revenue Service and foreign tax authorities had frozen Oxford International Credit Union and Oxford International Cooperative Union's accounts.

In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia today unsealed a criminal complaint against Coughlin.

The SEC's complaint charges Coughlin, OICU Ltd. and OICU Investments Corp. with violating Sections 5(a), 5(c), and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder and seeks disgorgement of all ill-gotten gains with prejudgment interest, civil penalties, conduct-based injunctions, and an officer-and-director bar against Coughlin. The SEC also seeks disgorgement and prejudgment interest from relief defendants American Quality Cleaning Services, Inc. (d/b/a "Oxford Privacy Group") and Avocalon LLC.

Contact Us:

With extensive courtroom, arbitration and mediation experience and an in-depth understanding of elder abuse, exploitation and securities law, our firm provides all of our clients with the personal service they deserve. Handling cases worth $25,000 or more, we represent clients throughout Florida and across the United States, as well as for foreign individuals that invested in U.S. banks or brokerage firms. Contact us to arrange your free initial consultation.

At the Fort Lauderdale Law Office of Russell L. Forkey, we represent clients throughout South and Central Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Sunrise, Plantation, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Delray, Boynton Beach, Hollywood, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Manalapan, Jupiter, Gulf Stream, Wellington, Fort Pierce, Stuart, Palm City, Jupiter, Miami, Orlando, Maitland, Winter Park, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Heathrow, Melbourne, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, Vero Beach, Daytona Beach, Deland, New Smyrna Beach, Ormand Beach, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Dade County, Orange County, Seminole County, Martin County, Brevard County, Indian River County, Volusia County and Monroe County, Florida. The law office of Russell L. Forkey also represents South American, Canadian and other foreign residents that do business with U.S. financial institutions, investment advisors, brokerage and precious metal firms.

Direct Access Partners, Benito Chinea and Joseph DeMeneses - Florida Broker/Dealer and Investment Advisor Securities Fraud and Misrepresentation Litigation and FINRA Arbitration Attorney

Florida Broker/Dealer and Investment Advisor Securities Fraud, Misrepresentation and Breach of Fiduciary Duty FINRA Arbitration and Litigation Attorney:

SEC Charges Brokerage Firm Executives in Kickback Scheme to Secure Business of Venezuelan Bank

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced another round of charges in its ongoing case against several individuals involved in a massive kickback scheme to secure the bond trading business of a state-owned Venezuelan bank.

The SEC alleges that two executives at New York City-based brokerage firm Direct Access Partners (DAP) were integral participants in the wide-ranging fraud. Benito Chinea, who was a co-founder and CEO of the firm, and Joseph DeMeneses, who was DAP's managing partner of global strategy, devised and facilitated sham arrangements to conceal multi-million dollar kickback payments to a high-ranking Venezuelan finance official of the bank. In one instance, DeMeneses made kickback payments from funds he controlled to a shell entity controlled by the Venezuelan official, and Chinea arranged for the firm to reimburse DeMeneses. The allegations were made in a second amended complaint that the SEC submitted in federal court in Manhattan as part of its pending action against four individuals with ties to DAP as well as the head of DAP's Miami office, who were charged last year for their roles in the scheme.

In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York and the U.S. Department of Justice's Criminal Division today announced criminal charges against Chinea and DeMeneses.

"The corruption at Direct Access Partners reached the very top," said Andrew M. Calamari, director of the SEC's New York Regional Office. "The schemers depended on Chinea as CEO to authorize outsized payments from the firm to be funneled as kickbacks to Venezuela."

The filing of the SEC's second amended complaint is subject to court approval. The SEC seeks disgorgement of ill-gotten gains plus interest and financial penalties against Chinea, who lives in Manalapan, N.J., and DeMeneses, who lives in Fairfield, Conn., as well as the five previously named defendants with ties to DAP, which has filed for bankruptcy.  In order to view a copy of the poposed Second Amended Complaint, please follow the highlighted link: Direct Access Partners.pdf 

Contact Us:

With extensive courtroom, arbitration and mediation experience and an in-depth understanding of elder abuse, exploitation and securities law, our firm provides all of our clients with the personal service they deserve. Handling cases worth $25,000 or more, we represent clients throughout Florida and across the United States, as well as for foreign individuals that invested in U.S. banks or brokerage firms. Contact us to arrange your free initial consultation.

At the Fort Lauderdale Law Office of Russell L. Forkey, we represent clients throughout South and Central Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Sunrise, Plantation, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Delray, Boynton Beach, Hollywood, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Manalapan, Jupiter, Gulf Stream, Wellington, Fort Pierce, Stuart, Palm City, Jupiter, Miami, Orlando, Maitland, Winter Park, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Heathrow, Melbourne, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, Vero Beach, Daytona Beach, Deland, New Smyrna Beach, Ormand Beach, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Dade County, Orange County, Seminole County, Martin County, Brevard County, Indian River County, Volusia County and Monroe County, Florida. The law office of Russell L. Forkey also represents South American, Canadian and other foreign residents that do business with U.S. financial institutions, investment advisors, brokerage and precious metal firms.

Total Wealth Management and Jacob Cooper - South Florida Investment Fraud and Breach of Fiduciary Duty FINRA Arbitration and Litigation Attorney

South Florida, including Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, Deerfield Beach, Boca Raton and Delray Beach, Florida Investment Advisor Fraud and Breach of Fiduciary Duty FINRA Arbitration and Litigation Attorney:

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced charges against a San Diego-based investment advisory firm, its chief executive officer, chief compliance officer, and another employee for misleading investors and breaching their fiduciary duties to clients.

The SEC's Enforcement Division alleges that Total Wealth Management and its owner and CEO Jacob Cooper entered into undisclosed revenue sharing agreements through which they paid themselves kickbacks or so-called "revenue sharing fees." They failed to disclose to clients the conflicts of interest created by these agreements as they recommended the underlying investments to clients and investors in the Altus family of funds. Total Wealth and Cooper also materially misrepresented the extent of the due diligence conducted on the investments they recommended. Total Wealth's CCO Nathan McNamee and investment adviser representative Douglas Shoemaker also breached their fiduciary duties and defrauded clients by failing to disclose conflicts of interest and concealing the kickbacks they received from the investments they recommended.

"Investment advisers owe a fiduciary duty of utmost good faith and full and fair disclosure to their clients," said Michele Wein Layne, director of the SEC's Los Angeles Regional Office. "Total Wealth violated that duty with its pervasive practice of placing clients in funds holding risky investments while concealing the revenue sharing fees they paid themselves."

In the order instituting administrative proceedings, the SEC's Enforcement Division alleges that Total Wealth and Cooper willfully violated the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws, and McNamee and Shoemaker violated or aided and abetted violations of the antifraud provisions. They also are charged with violations of Form ADV disclosure rules and the custody rule. The SEC's order seeks return of allegedly ill-gotten gains plus interest, financial penalties, an accounting, and remedial relief.

Contact Us:

With extensive courtroom, arbitration and mediation experience and an in-depth understanding of elder abuse, exploitation and securities law, our firm provides all of our clients with the personal service they deserve. Handling cases worth $25,000 or more, we represent clients throughout Florida and across the United States, as well as for foreign individuals that invested in U.S. banks or brokerage firms. Contact us to arrange your free initial consultation.

At the Fort Lauderdale Law Office of Russell L. Forkey, we represent clients throughout South and Central Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Sunrise, Plantation, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Delray, Boynton Beach, Hollywood, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Manalapan, Jupiter, Gulf Stream, Wellington, Fort Pierce, Stuart, Palm City, Jupiter, Miami, Orlando, Maitland, Winter Park, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Heathrow, Melbourne, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, Vero Beach, Daytona Beach, Deland, New Smyrna Beach, Ormand Beach, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Dade County, Orange County, Seminole County, Martin County, Brevard County, Indian River County, Volusia County and Monroe County, Florida. The law office of Russell L. Forkey also represents South American, Canadian and other foreign residents that do business with U.S. financial institutions, investment advisors, brokerage and precious metal firms.

Keiko Kawamura - South Florida Social Media Fraud and Misrepresentation of Credentials and Trading Experience FINRA Arbitration and Litigation Attorney

South Florida, including Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach County, Florida Social Media and Hedge Fund Misrepresentation of Credentials and Trading Experience FINRA Arbitration and Litigation Attorney:

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced fraud charges against a Honolulu woman posing as an investment banker and soliciting investors through Twitter, Facebook, and other social media.

An SEC investigation found that Keiko Kawamura engaged in two separate fraudulent schemes to raise money from investors while casting herself as an investment and hedge fund expert when in fact she had virtually no prior trading experience. In one scheme, she sought investors for her self-described hedge fund and posted on Twitter some screenshots of brokerage account statements suggesting she was personally obtaining incredible investment returns. However, the account statements were not hers. And instead of investing the money she raised from investors, she spent it on her own living expenses and luxury trips to Miami and London. In a later scheme, Kawamura continued to boast phony experience to attract investors to her subscription service for investment advice. She falsely told subscribers that she had been in the investment banking industry for nearly a decade and had achieved 800 percent returns in her personal brokerage account.

As alleged in the SEC matter "Kawamura used social media to ensnare investors and raise money to support her lifestyle," said Michele Wein Layne, director of the SEC's Los Angeles Regional Office. "Investors should beware of fraudsters who use social media to hide behind anonymity and reach many investors with little to no cost or effort."

The SEC's order instituting administrative proceedings alleges that Kawamura willfully violated Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5, and Sections 206(1), 206(2), and 206(4) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and Rule 20(4)-8. The administrative proceedings will determine any remedial action or financial penalties that are appropriate in the public interest against Kawamura.

Contact Us:

With extensive courtroom, arbitration and mediation experience and an in-depth understanding of elder abuse, exploitation and securities law, our firm provides all of our clients with the personal service they deserve. Handling cases worth $25,000 or more, we represent clients throughout Florida and across the United States, as well as for foreign individuals that invested in U.S. banks or brokerage firms. Contact us to arrange your free initial consultation.

At the Fort Lauderdale Law Office of Russell L. Forkey, we represent clients throughout South and Central Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Sunrise, Plantation, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Delray, Boynton Beach, Hollywood, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Manalapan, Jupiter, Gulf Stream, Wellington, Fort Pierce, Stuart, Palm City, Jupiter, Miami, Orlando, Maitland, Winter Park, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Heathrow, Melbourne, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, Vero Beach, Daytona Beach, Deland, New Smyrna Beach, Ormand Beach, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Dade County, Orange County, Seminole County, Martin County, Brevard County, Indian River County, Volusia County and Monroe County, Florida. The law office of Russell L. Forkey also represents South American, Canadian and other foreign residents that do business with U.S. financial institutions, investment advisors, brokerage and precious metal firms.

Joseph Signore and Paul Schumack II - Florida Ponzi Scheme and Investment Contract Securities Fraud and Misrepresentation Litigation and Arbitration Attorney

South Florida Ponzi Scheme and Investment Contract Fraud and Misrepresentation State and Federal Litigation and Arbitration Attorney:

Securities and Exchange Commission v. JCS Enterprises, Inc. et al., Civil Action No. 14-civ-80468 (S.D. Fla.) (April 7, 2014)

SEC, Criminal Authorities Halt Florida Ponzi Scheme Targeting Investors in Virtual Concierge Machines

Recently, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed an emergency action to halt a Ponzi scheme conducted by JCS Enterprises, Inc., T.B.T.I. Inc., and their respective principals Joseph Signore of West Palm Beach, Fla. and Paul L. Schumack II of Pompano Beach, Fla. The complaint, filed in United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, alleges that, from at least 2011 through the present, the defendants fraudulently raised at least $40 million from hundreds of investors nationwide through the ongoing sale of investments in Virtual Concierge machines (VCMs). The defendants guaranteed exorbitant returns, ranging from 80 to 120% annually and up to 500% over the life of a three- or four-year investment contract. Also, on April 7, 2014, Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Florida, issued an order placing JCS and TBTI under the control of a receiver to safeguard assets, as well as other emergency orders, including temporary restraining orders and asset freezes.

According to the SEC's complaint unsealed today, JCS, T.B.T.I, Signore, and Schumack touted the VCMs as a revolutionary product and fail-safe investment. The defendants promised to place and manage VCMs, which are ATM-like machines, at various locations to advertise products and services via touch screen, and print tickets or coupons, among other services. They represented that advertising revenue would generate the guaranteed returns paid to investors, who did not have to take any additional steps to earn their money. In reality, Signore, Schumack and their companies operated a Ponzi scheme, where, through numerous misrepresentations and omissions, they used new investor funds to make payments to earlier investors.

In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida today announced criminal charges against Signore and Schumack.

The defendants promoted VCMs on the internet though YouTube videos, and promised to locate, place and manage the VCMs, as well as inform investors about the location and activity of their VCMs. These representations were false. The defendants did not place VCMs at anywhere near the rate of those purchased by investors. Moreover, investors could not track their VCM's activity, and the defendants did not provide investors with the location of their VCMs as promised.

The SEC's complaint alleges that while operating the Ponzi scheme, Signore and Schumack also diverted more than $2.5 million to themselves and family members, and used money to fund other business ventures, for recreational purposes, and to satisfy financial obligations. While the majority of investors stopped receiving their monthly payments in January 2014, the defendants continued to solicit investors. Schumack continued lying to investors in an effort to generate more capital by providing a bulletin stating their last opportunity to invest was expiring at year end 2013. Schumack later fabricated excuses to placate irate investors who were no longer receiving their returns, telling them their checks were forthcoming. They were not. When investors started complaining, JCS also continued its fraud by issuing a press release, posted on its website, claiming it was "investigating the matter" and TBTI had defrauded JCS.

The SEC's complaint charges JCS, TBTI, Signore and Schumack with violating Sections 5(a), 5(c) and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The SEC also seeks disgorgement of all ill-gotten gains, including prejudgment interest thereon; an order directing the defendants to pay civil money penalties; and any other relief that may be necessary and appropriate.

Contact Us:

With extensive courtroom, arbitration and mediation experience and an in-depth understanding of elder abuse, exploitation and securities law, our firm provides all of our clients with the personal service they deserve. Handling cases worth $25,000 or more, we represent clients throughout Florida and across the United States, as well as for foreign individuals that invested in U.S. banks or brokerage firms. Contact us to arrange your free initial consultation.

At the Fort Lauderdale Law Office of Russell L. Forkey, we represent clients throughout South and Central Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Sunrise, Plantation, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Delray, Boynton Beach, Hollywood, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Manalapan, Jupiter, Gulf Stream, Wellington, Fort Pierce, Stuart, Palm City, Jupiter, Miami, Orlando, Maitland, Winter Park, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Heathrow, Melbourne, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, Vero Beach, Daytona Beach, Deland, New Smyrna Beach, Ormand Beach, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Dade County, Orange County, Seminole County, Martin County, Brevard County, Indian River County, Volusia County and Monroe County, Florida. The law office of Russell L. Forkey also represents South American, Canadian and other foreign residents that do business with U.S. financial institutions, investment advisors, brokerage and precious metal firms.

Pyramid Scheme, Ponzi Scheme and Affinity Fraud - South Florida Securities and Elder Abuse and Exploitation Litigation and FINRA Arbitration Attorney

Securities and Exchange Commission v. World Capital Market Inc., et al., Civil Action No. CV14-2334-CAS (MRWx)

South Florida Pyramid Scheme, Ponzi Scheme and Affinity Fraud Litigation and Arbitration Attorney:

SEC Halts Los Angeles- and Hong Kong-Based Pyramid Scheme Targeting Asian and Latino Communities

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced charges and asset freezes against the operators of a worldwide pyramid scheme targeting Asian and Latino communities in the U.S. and abroad.

The SEC alleges that three entities collectively operating under the business names WCM and WCM777 are posing as multi-level marketing companies in the business of selling third-party cloud computing services, which can include website hosting, data storage, and software support. The entities are based in California and Hong Kong and controlled by "Phil" Ming Xu, who is a resident of Temple City, California.

According to the SEC's complaint filed in federal court in Los Angeles, WCM and WCM777 have raised more than $65 million since March 2013 by falsely promising tens of thousands of investors that the return on investment in the cloud services venture would be 100 percent or more in 100 days. Investors were told they would receive "points" for making investments or enrolling other investors. The points would be convertible into equity in initial public offerings of high-tech companies their money would help launch. However, rather than building out cloud services or incubating high-tech companies, Xu and the WCM entities used investor funds to make Ponzi payments of purported investment returns to some investors. They also spent investor money to purchase golf courses and other U.S.-based properties among other unauthorized expenditures.

The court has granted the SEC's request for an asset freeze and the appointment of a temporary receiver over the assets of WCM, WCM777, and several other entities named as relief defendants for the purpose of recovering money from the scheme in their possession.

According to the SEC's complaint, WCM and WCM777 sell their products exclusively to investors and have no other apparent sources of revenue. Their offerings and operations depend almost entirely on the recruitment of new investors and purchases by existing investors to provide the money for returns. On its website, WCM777 specifically addressed the question "Is WCM777 a Ponzi Game?" by writing, "In summary, we are not a Ponzi game company. We are creating a new business model."

The SEC alleges that Xu and his entities made various false claims to investors about purported partnerships with more than 700 major companies such as Siemens, Denny's, and Goldman Sachs - in some instances falsely representing that they had permission to use their logos. Meantime, besides buying two golf courses with investor money, Xu and his entities also purchased a warehouse, vacant land, and several single family homes They also used investor funds to play the stock market and make other related investments through intermediary companies, such as an oil and gas offering. They also sent investor money to a rough diamond jewel merchant in Hong Kong and another unrelated company affiliated with Xu.

The SEC's complaint alleges that WCM, WCM777, and Xu violated Sections 5(a), 5(c), and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5. The complaint further alleges that Xu violated Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act. In addition to the asset freezes and appointment of a temporary receiver, the Honorable Christina A. Snyder also granted the SEC's request for an order prohibiting the destruction of documents and requiring the defendants to provide accountings. A court hearing has been scheduled for April 10, 2014.

Contact Us:

With extensive courtroom, arbitration and mediation experience and an in-depth understanding of elder abuse, exploitation and securities law, our firm provides all of our clients with the personal service they deserve. Handling cases worth $25,000 or more, we represent clients throughout Florida and across the United States, as well as for foreign individuals that invested in U.S. banks or brokerage firms. Contact us to arrange your free initial consultation.

At the Fort Lauderdale Law Office of Russell L. Forkey, we represent clients throughout South and Central Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Sunrise, Plantation, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Delray, Boynton Beach, Hollywood, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Manalapan, Jupiter, Gulf Stream, Wellington, Fort Pierce, Stuart, Palm City, Jupiter, Miami, Orlando, Maitland, Winter Park, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Heathrow, Melbourne, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, Vero Beach, Daytona Beach, Deland, New Smyrna Beach, Ormand Beach, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Dade County, Orange County, Seminole County, Martin County, Brevard County, Indian River County, Volusia County and Monroe County, Florida. The law office of Russell L. Forkey also represents South American, Canadian and other foreign residents that do business with U.S. financial institutions, investment advisors, brokerage and precious metal firms.

Jason Halek, Joshua Spivey, Patrick Booths and Steven Little - South Florida Oil and Gas Fraud and Sale of Unregistered Securities Litigaiton and Arbitration Attorney

Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Davie, Pompano Beach, Deerfield Beach, Lighthouse Point and Boca Raton, Florida Oil and Gas Fraud and Sale of Unregistered Securities Litigation and Arbitration Attorney:

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Jason A Halek, Joshua D. Spivey, Patrick J. Booths and Steven J. Little, Civil Action No. 3:14-cv-01106-D (NDTX) (March 28, 2014)

SEC Charges Four Texas Residents for Selling Fradulent Oil and Gas Investments

Recently, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed suit in United States District Court in Dallas, Texas, alleging that from September 2009 to June 2010, Jason A. Halek of Southlake, Texas and Patrick J. Booths of Fort Worth fraudulently conducted unregistered securities offerings of working interests in oil and gas projects that were owned and operated by Halek's company, Halek Energy, LLC. These projects were offered to investors by Joshua D. Spivey of Morristown, Tennessee and Steven J. Little of Southlake, Texas, through their separately incorporated companies. Through this alleged scheme, Halek and the other defendants sold more than $5.5 million in Halek Energy oil and gas working interests to more than 100 investors nationwide.

The Commission's complaint alleges that the investments were offered and sold to investors through separately incorporated companies owned and operated by Spivey, Little and a third individual. The Commission contends that these individuals and companies were merely "straw men" who sold and promoted investments in new Halek Energy oil and gas projects. Booths was Halek Energy's Vice President of Sales and Marketing and served as Halek's point man on the alleged scheme. Booths helped Halek recruit the straw men and assisted in facilitating their sale and promotion of Halek Energy projects through their companies.

According to the complaint, offering documents given to investors falsely claimed that the straw men companies owned the oil and gas projects. In fact, none of the companies owned any part of the projects. Rather, the projects were established and owned by Halek Energy and controlled by Halek and Booths. Spivey and Little each received large commissions or other compensation from promoting and selling the working interests for Halek and Halek Energy. Booths was also well compensated for his role in the alleged scheme.

The complaint alleges that Halek conceived of the straw men scheme after the Commission began investigating his involvement in an earlier scheme to make fraudulent oil-and-gas securities offerings. As a result of that earlier scheme, the Commission sued Halek and Halek Energy in August 2010. Lit. Rel. No. 21637. The Commission contends that Halek intended the straw men scheme as a means for avoiding the Commission's scrutiny.

The Commission charges Halek and Booths with violating Sections 5(a), 5(c), and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 ("Securities Act") and Sections 10(b) and 15(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. In addition, the Commission charges Joshua Spivey and Steven Little with violating Sections 5(a), 5(c), 17(a)(2) and 17a(3) of the Securities Act and Section 15(a) of the Exchange Act. Without admitting or denying the allegations in the complaint, defendants Booths, Spivey, and Little have agreed to injunctions against violations of these provisions, and to follow-on administrative bars that would bar them from association with any broker, dealer, investment adviser, municipal securities dealer, municipal advisor, transfer agent, or nationally recognized statistical rating organization, or from participating in any offering of a penny stock. The Commission is seeking civil penalties and disgorgement with prejudgment interest against each defendant.

Contact Us:

With extensive courtroom, arbitration and mediation experience and an in-depth understanding of elder abuse, exploitation and securities law, our firm provides all of our clients with the personal service they deserve. Handling cases worth $25,000 or more, we represent clients throughout Florida and across the United States, as well as for foreign individuals that invested in U.S. banks or brokerage firms. Contact us to arrange your free initial consultation.

At the Fort Lauderdale Law Office of Russell L. Forkey, we represent clients throughout South and Central Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Sunrise, Plantation, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Delray, Boynton Beach, Hollywood, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Manalapan, Jupiter, Gulf Stream, Wellington, Fort Pierce, Stuart, Palm City, Jupiter, Miami, Orlando, Maitland, Winter Park, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Heathrow, Melbourne, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, Vero Beach, Daytona Beach, Deland, New Smyrna Beach, Ormand Beach, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Dade County, Orange County, Seminole County, Martin County, Brevard County, Indian River County, Volusia County and Monroe County, Florida. The law office of Russell L. Forkey also represents South American, Canadian and other foreign residents that do business with U.S. financial institutions, investment advisors, brokerage and precious metal firms.

Daniel Kim - South Florida Broker/Dealer and Investment Advisor Selling Away and Unapproved Outside Business Activity FINRA Arbitration and Litigation Attorney

South Florida Broker/Dealer and Account Executive Elder, Senior and Retirement Financial Abuse and Exploitation, Negligent Supervision, Breach of Fiduciary and Unapproved Outside Business Activity (Selling Away) FINRA Arbitration, Litigation and Probate Attorney:

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) is a self-regulatory authority assigned the responsibility, by the Securities and Exchange Commission, to license, regulate and discipline securities broker/dealers and their employees, including account executives. In the event that FINRA elects to institute an enforcement action, firms and licensed individuals have the responsibility to reflect such action on their U-4 and/or U-5 filings, which can be viewed on the FINRA website under the broker-check section of the site or by viewing the monthly disciplinary information also provided on the FINRA site.

The monthly disciplinary information is referenced on the FINRA site generally in alphabetical order. This post relates to the following company or individuals. If the reader would like to review the entire FINRA release or the broker-check information concerning this matter, you can follow these highlighted links:

January 2014 Disciplinary and Other FINRA Actions:

http://www.finra.org/web/groups/industry/@ip/@enf/@da/documents/disciplinaryactions/p428878.pdf

Broker Check: http://www.finra.org/Investors/ToolsCalculators/BrokerCheck/

Daniel Kim (CRD #5372539, Registered Representative, New York, New York) submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Wavier and Consent in which he was fined $5,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for one month.  The fine must be paid either immediately upon Kim's reassociation with a FINRA member firm following his suspension, or prior to the filing of any application or request for relief from any statutory disqualification, whichever is earlier.  Without admitting or denying the findings, Kim consented to the described sanctions and to the entry of findings that he engaged in an outside business activity without providing prior written notice of such activity to his firm.  FINRA Case No. 2011030219601. To review the entire FINRA release relative to this matter, please follow one of the above referenced links.

Contact Us:

With extensive courtroom, arbitration and mediation experience and an in-depth understanding of elder abuse, exploitation and securities law, our firm provides all of our clients with the personal service they deserve. Handling cases worth $25,000 or more, we represent clients throughout Florida and across the United States, as well as for foreign individuals that invested in U.S. banks or brokerage firms. Contact us to arrange your free initial consultation.

At the Fort Lauderdale Law Office of Russell L. Forkey, we represent clients throughout South and Central Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Sunrise, Plantation, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Delray, Boynton Beach, Hollywood, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Manalapan, Jupiter, Gulf Stream, Wellington, Fort Pierce, Stuart, Palm City, Jupiter, Miami, Orlando, Maitland, Winter Park, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Heathrow, Melbourne, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, Vero Beach, Daytona Beach, Deland, New Smyrna Beach, Ormand Beach, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Dade County, Orange County, Seminole County, Martin County, Brevard County, Indian River County, Volusia County and Monroe County, Florida. The law office of Russell L. Forkey also represents South American, Canadian and other foreign residents that do business with U.S. financial institutions, investment advisors, brokerage and precious metal firms.

Hugh Robert Hunsinger, Jr. - South Florida Broker/Dealer and Account Executive Elder Financial Abuse and Exploitation, Theft, Breach of Fiduciary Duty and Negligent Supervision FINRA Arbitration and Litigation Attorney

South Florida Broker/Dealer and Account Executive Elder, Senior and Retirement Financial Abuse and Exploitation, Negligent Supervision, Breach of Fiduciary and Theft FINRA Arbitration, Litigation and Probate Attorney:

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) is a self-regulatory authority assigned the responsibility, by the Securities and Exchange Commission, to license, regulate and discipline securities broker/dealers and their employees, including account executives. In the event that FINRA elects to institute an enforcement action, firms and licensed individuals have the responsibility to reflect such action on their U-4 and/or U-5 filings, which can be viewed on the FINRA website under the broker-check section of the site or by viewing the monthly disciplinary information also provided on the FINRA site.

The monthly disciplinary information is referenced on the FINRA site generally in alphabetical order. This post relates to the following company or individuals. If the reader would like to review the entire FINRA release or the broker-check information concerning this matter, you can follow these highlighted links:

January 2014 Disciplinary and Other FINRA Actions:

http://www.finra.org/web/groups/industry/@ip/@enf/@da/documents/disciplinaryactions/p428878.pdf

Broker Check: http://www.finra.org/Investors/ToolsCalculators/BrokerCheck/

Hugh Robert Hunsinger, Jr. (CRD #2179745, Registered Representative, Pinebrook, New Jersey) was barred from association with any FINRA member in any capacity and order to pay $1,452,503.57, plus interest, in restitution to customers.  The sanctions were based on findings that Hunsinger converted funds from the brokerage accounts of customers, his parents.  The findings stated that in total, Hunsinger transferred $1,452,503.57 from his parents' accounts to bank accounts in his name.  Neither of his parents had an account at the banks he transferred the money to, and neither authorized the transfer of funds from their brokerage accounts to Hunsinger or to accounts at the bank.  FINRA Case No. 2011030045101.  To review the entire FINRA release relative to this matter, please follow one of the above referenced links.

Contact Us:

With extensive courtroom, arbitration and mediation experience and an in-depth understanding of elder abuse, exploitation and securities law, our firm provides all of our clients with the personal service they deserve. Handling cases worth $25,000 or more, we represent clients throughout Florida and across the United States, as well as for foreign individuals that invested in U.S. banks or brokerage firms. Contact us to arrange your free initial consultation.

At the Fort Lauderdale Law Office of Russell L. Forkey, we represent clients throughout South and Central Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Sunrise, Plantation, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Delray, Boynton Beach, Hollywood, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Manalapan, Jupiter, Gulf Stream, Wellington, Fort Pierce, Stuart, Palm City, Jupiter, Miami, Orlando, Maitland, Winter Park, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Heathrow, Melbourne, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, Vero Beach, Daytona Beach, Deland, New Smyrna Beach, Ormand Beach, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Dade County, Orange County, Seminole County, Martin County, Brevard County, Indian River County, Volusia County and Monroe County, Florida. The law office of Russell L. Forkey also represents South American, Canadian and other foreign residents that do business with U.S. financial institutions, investment advisors, brokerage and precious metal firms.

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Russell L. Forkey, P.A.

2888 East Oakland Park Boulevard

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33306

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