Articles Tagged with Illinois

On July 29, 2016, the Appellate Court of Illinois entered a decision reversing a circuit court decision that affirmed an administrative order of the Illinois Secretary of State (“Secretary”) finding that Richard Lee Van Dyke, a registered investment adviser with the Illinois Department of Securities (“Department”), had defrauded clients by recommending the sale of indexed annuities in violation of Illinois law.

Section 2.1 of the Illinois Securities Law of 1953 (“Act”) provides that the term “security” is defined to include a “face amount certificate.”  Section 2.14 of the Act further defines a “face amount certificate” to include “any form of annuity contract (other than an annuity contract issued by a life insurance company authorized to transact business in this State)”.  However, Section 12(J) of the Act prohibits fraudulent or manipulative conduct as an investment adviser regardless of whether the investment adviser sells securities.  The Van Dyke case is perhaps most notable for its rejection of the circuit court’s conclusion that Van Dyke’s practices were fraudulent. Continue reading

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently filed a cease-and-desist order against an Illinois man, Anthony Fields, for scamming investors with a fictitious securities offering. Fields attempted to sell more than $500 billion in securities using various social media websites, including LinkedIn.

Fields claimed to be a representative of a “leading institutional broker-dealer” through his firms: Anthony Fields & Associates and Platinum Securities Brokers. He was not registered as a broker/dealer with the SEC nor was he licensed as an associate with a registered broker/dealer.

The SEC has claimed that Fields violated numerous securities regulations. Allegedly, he promoted fictitious bank guarantees by setting up an unfunded investment adviser and an unfunded broker-dealer. He registered both of these with the SEC; however, he did so by filing false applications in March 2010. He also failed to maintain adequate books and records or carry out proper compliance procedures. Finally, he overstated his assets under management by claiming he had $400 million when, in actuality, he had none.
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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has implemented a new program — called the Aberrational Performance Inquiry (API) — that has resulted in enforcement proceedings against three hedge funds for overstating material aspects of their business. API looks to find statements made by funds relating to its investment strategy, performance or size, and compares those claims to market data using proprietary analytical processes. In a statement, the SEC stated that API is being used to find the same type of misleading information from registered investment advisers, not just hedge funds.

“We’re using risk analytics and unconventional methods to help achieve the holy grail of securities law enforcement — earlier detection and prevention,” said Robert Khuzami, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, according to an SEC enforcement release. Robert Kaplan and Bruce Karpati, Co-Chiefs of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Asset Management Unit, added, “The extraordinary returns reported by these advisers and portfolio managers were, in most cases, too good to be true. In other cases, outlier returns were a telltale sign that something else was amiss.”
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