An investment manager who raised $53 million in 2008 used the proceeds to operate a complex Ponzi-like scheme, taking new funds to pay off earlier investors and to profit himself, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission complaint filed this week in federal court.
The SEC alleges Matthew Jennings, 39 and his companies raised $53 million in more than 15 offerings of equity and debt that were not registered with the SEC.
To sustain the fraud, Jennings lured new investors to his sceme by offering returns as high as 130 percent annually, the complaint alleges. According the the SEC “Jennings lied to investors about the purpose of Westmoore's offerings,” said Rosalind Tyson, director of the SEC's Los Angeles Regional Office. “He lured investors through false promises of a lucrative payout while concealing his complex fraud behind a web of companies and bank accounts”.
The next hearing in this case is scheduled for June 24th.