Tuesday, March 31, 2009
SEC Charges Tacoma Wash. Man with Affinity Fraud
The SEC charged John H. Min of Tacoma, Wash., and his company Dime Financial Group LLC with raising more than $6 million in a fraudulent investment scheme that targeted churches, church members and senior citizens. The SEC alleges that Min misled some investors into believing their money would support Third World charitable causes while in fact spending the funds on his own lavish lifestyle and on failed high-risk investments. According to the SEC's complaint, Min associated himself with a tight-knit religious and philanthropic community in the Pacific Northwest, creating a not-for-profit entity to attract charitable investors who believed that their investments would support certain Third Word aid groups, such as a charity supporting Bolivian widows and orphans. Min lured other investors by telling them that his trading expertise allowed him to make annual returns as high as 800 percent, and by touting Dime as a safe, low-risk investment for retirees' savings. The SEC alleges that Min and Dime deceived more than 60 investors since 2005 into buying interests in Dime's purportedly prosperous investment program.
The SEC seeks permanent injunctions, civil monetary penalties, and disgorgement against both Min and Dime.
Separately, today the United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Washington (USAO) unsealed an indictment charging Min with criminal violations based on the same misconduct.