Tuesday, March 22, 2011
The SEC charged three firms and four individuals involved in a boiler room scheme operating out of Los Angeles that defrauded investors who they persuaded to buy purportedly profitable trading systems. According to the SEC, representatives of Spyglass Equity Systems Inc. cold-called investors and made false and misleading statements to help raise more than $2.15 million from nearly 200 investors nationwide for two related investment companies – Flatiron Capital Partners LLC (FCP) and Flatiron Systems LLC (FS). However, only a little more than half of that money was actually used for the advertised trading purposes, and much of the trading that did occur failed to use the purported trading systems. FCP and FS wound up losing about $1 million in investor funds. The managing member of the two firms – David E. Howard II – misused almost $500,000 of investor money for unauthorized business expenses as well as personal expenses including travel, entertainment, and gifts for his girlfriend.
Along with Howard, FCP and FS, Spyglass and its owners – Richard L. Carter, Preston L. Sjoblom and Tyson D. Elliott – also are charged with fraud in connection with the unregistered securities offerings.
The SEC seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement plus prejudgment and post-judgment interest, and financial penalties.