Jason Sugarman Ordered to Pay $10.2 Million in Connection with Tribal Bond Scheme

The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled in favor of defendant Jason Sugarman. Sugarman is required to pay more than $10,2 Million in disgorgement and interest. The SEC had brought charges against Sugarman, alleging that he was involved in a scam to defraud 10 pension funds of $43million. The scheme related to the issue of Native American tribal bonds with limited recourse between 2014 and 2015

Sugarman and Jason Galanis acquired control of two investment advisors in order to use the funds from their clients to purchase Native American tribe bonds, according to a complaint filed by the SEC on June 27, 2019 and amended on Nov. 2, 2022. Sugarman and his colleagues misappropriated bond proceeds instead of investing in annuities to benefit the tribal corporation and bondholders. The proceeds of the initial bond sales were used to purchase a foreign insurer, and then to buy the second investment advisor involved in the scheme.

In a parallel criminal trial, seven defendants, among them Galanis in this case, were also indicted or convicted. Sugarman consented to a final judgment without denying or admitting the SEC’s accusations. Sugarman is permanently prohibited from violating anti-fraud provisions, and he must pay civil penalties, disgorgement and interest. Sugarman has also been barred from being an officer or a director of a company listed on the stock exchange for a period of three years.

Sanjay Wadhwa supervised a team of investigators from the New York Regional Office who conducted the SEC investigation. The litigation was led primarily by a few individuals with assistance from others.

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SEC

Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC for short, is the regulatory agency of the United States. It oversees and enforces securities laws. The primary mission of the SEC is to protect investors and maintain fair, efficient, and transparent markets.

The SEC achieves their goals by regulating, supervising, and coordinating the activities of various participants within the securities industry. This includes securities exchanges and brokers, investment advisors, and mutual fund companies. The SEC requires that companies disclose financial information, allowing for transparency and enabling investors to make informed choices.

SEC investigates and prosecutes violations of securities law, including insider trading, fraud and market manipulating. It can impose sanctions, fines and other penalties as a way to deter misconduct, maintain the integrity and to protect the markets.

The SEC also plays a vital role in overseeing registration and regulation for securities offerings including initial public offering (IPOs), ensuring compliance with applicable laws, and protecting investors from fraud schemes.

The SEC is a watchdog of the U.S. Securities Industry, encouraging fairness, transparency and investor confidence.

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