[G]odfree was co-founder of The Minerals Acquisition Company (TMAC), a Pasadena-based outfit that offered to sell slag to victims who were told the company possessed "proof of concept" of a method to extract precious metals from this slag, which was generated from copper mining. TMAC sold ton-quantities of the slag with promises of refining the material and recovering precious metals. TMAC provided victims with supposedly attorney-certified "Certificates of Title" that purported to transfer ownership of the slag to victims.Godfree's scheme was nothing more than a series of lies, according to the indictment, which alleges that Godfree and TMAC did not actually own the vast majority of the slag they sold, there was not a commercially viable process for extracting precious metals from the slag, and the business operation had not been endorsed by an attorney.TMAC was dissolved in 2015, but its operations were largely taken over by Precious Metals of North America, Inc., another of Godfree's companies.As a result of the fraudulent conduct, prosecutors believe that Godfree generated at least $7 million in sales from more than 100 victims.Rather than using the victims' money for the purchase of slag and to develop an extraction process, prosecutors said Godfree and his co-schemers used victims' money to pay for, among other things, sales commissions and Godfree's personal expenses, which included the purchase of luxury items.
[F]rom mid-2017 to the present, Lyons and various investment adviser entities with the name Synchrony that Lyons controlled engaged in a scheme to misappropriate assets from hedge funds Lyons and these Synchrony adviser entities managed. The SEC alleges that Lyons transferred hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Synchrony hedge funds to Lyons' personal bank accounts to pay for personal expenses, including frequent vacation travel, entertainment, rent, automobile lease payments, and other personal expenses. Further, the SEC alleges that Lyons replaced some of the misappropriated money by engaging in a securities offering fraud, in which he obtained approximately $300,000 from an investor based on false and misleading statements about other potential large investors and a fabricated $100 million business valuation. In total, the SEC's complaint alleges that Lyons and the Synchrony adviser entities raised approximately $700,000 from their misappropriation and securities offering fraud schemes.