Securities Law Prof Blog

Editor: Eric C. Chaffee
Univ. of Toledo College of Law

Friday, April 29, 2011

SEC Halts Alleged Ponzi Scheme by Co-Founder of China Voice Holding Corp.

The SEC obtained a court order freezing the assets of China Voice Holding Corp., which trades in over-the-counter markets and claims to have a portfolio of telecommunications products and services in both the U.S. and China. The SEC alleges that China Voice's co-founder and his two associates are operating an $8.6 million Ponzi scheme and misusing its proceeds, in part, to help fund the company's operations.

According to the SEC, David Ronald Allen, who also was China voice's chief financial officer, and his associates Alex Dowlatshahi and Christopher Mills promised investors in a series of offerings of limited partnerships that they would earn returns of at least 25 percent on their investments. Investors were falsely told that their money would be loaned to companies with a demonstrated track record and large profit margins. Instead, Allen and his cohorts used investor funds to pay back investors in earlier partnerships and funneled investor money to China Voice and a complicated web of other companies that Allen controls. Allen and his associates also siphoned investor money to enrich themselves and family members.

In addition to the Ponzi scheme, the SEC's complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas (Dallas Division) charges China Voice, its former chairman and CEO William F. Burbank IV, and Allen, with a series of fraudulent company statements about its financial condition and business prospects. Among other things, the SEC alleges that China Voice greatly overstated the value of certain business relationships and misled investors by failing to disclose significant loans from related parties needed to fund its operations.

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