SEC stops Jonathan Maroney’s $17.1 million Ponzi scheme in Florida

Rick Steves

Mr. Maroney misappropriated at least $4.48 million in investor funds to enrich himself and his family, “including the purchase and maintenance of his waterfront home and a Mercedes Benz, and to pay for his extensive credit card bills and renovation-related expenses on the house”, the SEC claims.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has obtained a temporary restraining order and an asset freeze to stop an alleged Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Jonathan P. Maroney through several entities he controls in Florida, including Harbor City Capital Corp. where he was CEO.

Since May 2015, Mr. Maroney raised at least $17.1 million from more than 100 investors in a series of fraudulent securities offerings, the SEC alleges, adding that he told investors that offering proceeds would be used to finance online “customer lead generation campaigns” and produce annual returns ranging from 10% to 60% from the resale of those leads.

Instead, Mr. Maroney misappropriated at least $4.48 million in investor funds to enrich himself and his family, “including the purchase and maintenance of his waterfront home and a Mercedes Benz, and to pay for his extensive credit card bills and renovation-related expenses on the house”, the SEC claims.

As in a classic Ponzi scheme, he allegedly fraudulently used investor funds to make monthly interest payments and other payouts to investors.

Eric I. Bustillo, Director of the SEC’s Miami Regional Office, said: “As alleged in our complaint, Maroney lured investors with promises of double-digit returns and false claims, while pocketing millions of investor dollars for himself. Investors should be skeptical of any investment that promises extraordinarily high rates of return.”

The complaint seeks preliminary and permanent injunctions, disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and a civil penalty from each of the defendants, Mr. Maroney and each of the entities he controlled as well as the relief defendants, his wife Tonya Maroney and Celtic Enterprises LLC.

Gary Gensler was recently confirmed by the US Senate as the new Chairman of the SEC and has appointed Alex Oh as Director of the Division of Enforcement.

She was previously an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where she was a member of the Securities & Commodities Fraud Task Force and the Major Crimes Unit.

“The Enforcement Division plays a critical role in protecting investors and maintaining fair, orderly, and efficient markets, essential components of the SEC’s mission. I am committed to working tirelessly to uncover and prosecute violations of the law, whether by businesses or their leaders so that we can keep American capital markets the strongest in the world”, she said.

Gary Gensler was nominated by President Joe Biden to lead the SEC. He has served as the 11th Chair at the CFTC during the tumultuous years post-2008.

Whilst at the CFTC he helped to transform the regulation of the OTC Swaps Market which had been at the epicenter of the global financial crisis. Though interestingly under the Clinton administration Mr. Gensler had helped to promote legislation that exempted OTC derivatives from regulation.

Mr. Gensler was very much seen as a reformer whilst at the CFTC and is credited with dragging the regulator into the modern world. During his term, the CFTC created 68 new rules, orders, and guidance and extended its regulatory reach to encompass not only exchange-traded derivatives but also the far larger OTC markets as well.

 

Read this next

Retail FX

Weekly Roundup: eToro links up with Elon Musk, US crackdown on Russian FX

Let’s take a look back at top stories that dominated the financial markets in our Weekly Round coverage. This week’s digest takes a deep dive into the most recent events and trends within the Forex, Fintech, and cryptocurrency.

blockdag

Must-Watch Top 5 Crypto Picks for Q2 2024 Featuring BlockDAG, Toncoin, Solana and More

Dive into BlockDAG’s meteoric rise and explore other promising altcoins like Pepe, Toncoin, Solana, and Render for superior returns.

Retail FX

Clone of Admiral Markets draws FCA attention

The United Kingdom’s financial markets watchdog today unmasked another fraudulent entity, this time bringing to light a clone firm that has been posing as FCA-‎authorised brand, Admiral Markets UK Ltd.

Digital Assets

Gemini Earn users to recover $2.18 billion in crypto payouts

Cryptocurrency exchange Gemini has agreed to pay $50 million worth of digital assets to investors in its Gemini Earn program as part of a settlement with the New York Attorney General (NYAG), announced on Friday.

Fundamental Analysis, Market News, Tech and Fundamental

Global FX Market Summary: British Pound (GBP) Weakness, US Inflation, Euro, USD June 14 ,2024

British Pound weakens due to lower inflation expectations, potential policy changes from Reform Party, and broader economic concerns.

blockdag

Q2 2024’s Top 5 Cryptos to Buy: BlockDAG, Pepe, Toncoin, Solana and Render

Learn about 2024’s Q2 top 5 cryptos. Explore potential high-return and advancements of altcoins like BlockDAG, Pepe, Toncoin, Solana, and Render.

Fundamental Analysis, Tech and Fundamental, Technical Analysis

GBPCAD Technical Analysis Report 14 June, 2024

GBPCAD currency pair can be expected to fall further toward the next support level 1.7250, former strong resistance from last year.

Digital Assets

Binance acquitted of tax evasion in Nigeria, now faces AML charges

Nigeria has dropped tax evasion charges against two Binance executives, Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, after the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange appointed a local representative to handle court processes related to the allegations.

Digital Assets

Trezor launches new hardware wallet ‘Safe 5’ with fresh security features

Crypto hardware wallet manufacturer Trezor announced on Friday the launch of its latest flagship product, the Trezor Safe 5, featuring upgraded security to promote self-custody of digital assets.

<