On May 4, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) reached a settlement with Verto Capital Management, LLC (“Verto”), a New Jersey-based life settlement firm, and its CEO, William Schantz III (“Schantz”). Verto and Schantz consented to pay the SEC about $4 million, which includes both disgorgement and a penalty, to settle claims that they used funds from new investors to pay older investors in a Ponzi-type manner. The SEC also alleged that Verto and Schantz diverted investor funds for Schantz’s personal use.
The settlement resulted from a complaint filed by the SEC in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey alleging that between November 2013 and November 2015 Verto and Schantz issued about $12.5 million worth of nine-month 7% promissory notes to investors. Verto and Schantz claimed that the funds from these promissory notes would be used to purchase “life settlements,” which are life insurance policies that have been sold by their original owners to third-party buyers. The SEC’s complaint alleges that Verto and Schantz made a variety of misrepresentations in the sale of these promissory notes. Continue reading