Pursuant to anThe SEC's order finds that in early 2015, Lumber Liquidators, a discount retailer of hardwood flooring, made public statements in response to a "60 Minutes" news program episode that showed undercover video of Lumber Liquidators' suppliers stating that they provided the company with products that did not comply with regulatory requirements. In its response, Lumber Liquidators fraudulently informed investors that third-party test results of its flooring products proved compliance with formaldehyde emissions standards and that it had discontinued sourcing materials from suppliers that were unable to meet these standards. In reality, Lumber Liquidators knew that its largest Chinese supplier had failed third-party formaldehyde emissions testing and was unable to produce documentation showing regulatory compliance. The SEC's order further finds that despite having evidence confirming that the individuals in the "60 Minutes" undercover video were factory employees of its suppliers, Lumber Liquidators falsely stated that its suppliers were not depicted in the video.
Information https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/press-release/file/1142986/download andDeferred Prosecution Agreement https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/press-release/file/1142991/download
[B]etween approximately 2007 and 2013, Donald Watkins Sr. sold "economic participations" and promissory notes connected with Masada Resource Group, a company that he ran as manager and CEO. Investors paid millions of dollars after Donald Watkins Sr. and Donald Watkins Jr. falsely represented that the money would be used to grow Masada, which Donald Watkins Sr. described as a "pre-revenue" company that supposedly had technology that could convert garbage into ethanol. Instead of investing the money into Masada, however, Donald Watkins Sr. and Donald Watkins Jr. diverted funds to pay personal bills and the debts of their other business ventures. The evidence showed that victim money was used to pay for Donald Watkins Sr.'s alimony, hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes, personal loan payments, a private jet and clothing purchased by Donald Watkins Jr. and his wife. Emails introduced at trial also showed that Donald Watkins Jr. and Donald Watkins Sr. planned to obtain millions of dollars for these purposes from one victim on multiple occasions, when they knew that their victims trusted them to put their money to use in growing Masada. The defendants' scheme eventually grew to include another business venture, Nabirm Global, a company that Donald Watkins Sr. claimed held mineral rights in Namibia.Donald Watkins Sr. also defrauded Alamerica Bank, an entity in which Donald Watkins Sr. was the largest shareholder, the evidence showed. In order to pay hundreds of thousands in litigation expenses associated with another one of Donald Watkins Sr.'s business ventures, Donald Watkins Sr. executed a plan to use a straw borrower to take out money from Alamerica Bank and give it to them. This straw borrower-Donald Watkins Sr.'s long-time mentor and a prominent figure in the Birmingham community-took over $900,000 in loans from Alamerica Bank and then immediately permitted Donald Watkins Sr. and Donald Watkins Jr. to use those funds for their personal benefit.
The SEC's complaint, which was filed under seal on March 7, 2019, alleged that Gallagher made frequent religious references on his radio shows to establish his standing among a target audience of retired Christian investors. From December 2014 through January 2019, he raised at least $19.6 million from approximately 60 senior citizens. Falsely claiming to be a licensed investment adviser, he offered an investment that he called a Diversified Growth and Income Strategy Account, in which he promised to acquire income-generating assets for his clients in five specified categories. He promised investors that they would receive guaranteed, risk-free returns in their accounts ranging from 5% to 8% per year. In reality, except for one $75,000 annuity purchase, Gallagher purchased no assets in any of the five categories and no other assets to back the promised returns. Instead, he exhausted virtually all investor funds on spending unrelated to the accounts, including misappropriating significant portions for personal and company expenses and to make Ponzi payments to investors. To lull investors and conceal the scheme, Gallagher provided investors phony account statements showing false account balances.
[F]rom 2016 through at least 2018, Boring conspired with others to take money from victims throughout the United States who wanted to sell their timeshare properties or other parcels of land. Boring and others placed telephone calls to these victims impersonating real estate professionals. They misled the timeshare owners to believe the conspirators had identified buyers for the victims' timeshares and other property. The conspirators further advised the victims that the timeshare and property sales could be completed if the victims made one or more advanced payments to the conspirators for various fees purportedly associated with the sales, such as closing costs, courier services, title searches, transfer fees, and legal fees. Once the victims agreed to pay the bogus fees, the conspirators directed the victims to send funds via wire transfers to one of the conspirators. That conspirator then withdrew the fraud proceeds and shared them with the others, based on each conspirator's role in the fraudulent transaction. The conspirators often repeatedly re-contacted their victims and fraudulently advised them that additional fees were needed in order to complete the sales, and they continued to dupe the victims into sending bogus advanced fees until the victims either ran out of money or became aware of the scam.
threaten potential victims with prosecution or arrest if they did not pay alleged tax debts immediately. After the victims agreed to pay, the callers would instruct the victims to send the money electronically using banks or money transmitters, such as MoneyGram, to defendants Mohit Devendrabhai Sharma, Julliette Belle Carter, and others. Victims, including residents of Georgia, believed the threats and sent money. Defendants Mohit Devendrabhai Sharma and Julliette Belle Carter retrieved the fraud proceeds from various MoneyGram locations in states such as Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
The original complaint made against Claimant was never officially filed. It was never signed by the attorney who was to have represented the underlying customer. FINRA never assigned a case number. The attorney sent a complaint to Respondent, and they in turn sent a reply to the attorney explaining the way the account was set up. Claimant then had a telephone conversation with the customer explaining how the account had been handled. The customer and the attorney then just walked away from the claim and abandoned it. No formal withdrawal of any kind was filed. However, because the customer had made contact with Respondent, a complaint was automatically filed in Claimant's CRD.When the customer opened his two accounts, they were set up with a special costing arrangement that was suggested by the customer's own accountant. Claimant set up the accounts exactly as the customer's accountant had suggested and the customer himself ordered. This special arrangement was somewhat complicated but it involved moving the costs from one account to the other so that the customer could claim the costs against his income taxes.During the telephone conversation between the customer and Claimant, it is Claimant's sworn testimony that it was obvious that the customer was confused and did not fully understand the arrangement himself. Once the arrangement was fully explained to the customer, the customer said he was sorry and would withdraw the claim.The customer's accountant had advised Claimant to set up the accounts in a special way. The customer had authorized that to be done without fully understanding it. Claimant did as he was instructed. Therefore, the expungement should be granted because the allegation is false. This expungement will have no adverse effect on investor protection. . .