Oregon Residents Charged by SEC in $10 Million Ponzi-Like Scheme

Imagine you’re lured by an investment plan that promises high returns in a short time. This sounds too great, right? In Oregon, this is what happened. The Securities and Exchange Commission charged two residents, Robert D. Christensen and Anthony M. Matic, and the companies they controlled with committing a Ponzi Scheme and misleading investors.

The plot thickens

According to the SEC complaint, the pair used four entities – Foresee Inc. The Commission PDX LLC, The Policy PDX LLC, and Innings 150 LLC – to raise money from investors. Some investors were retirees who wanted to maximize their nest eggs. The promise was so compelling. What was the promise that was so compelling?

Christensen Matic appeared to lack the financial resources to deliver the promised returns on time. They used funds from new investors to pay the earlier investors. This is a classic case of a Ponzi scheme. But that’s not it. Gifts, vacations, casino trips, and massages were alleged to be part of the alleged misuse. Even unreported or unauthorized uses of the funds were alleged.

The Charges & Settlement

  • The SEC filed a complaint in U.S. District Court District of Oregon, charging the two and their related companies with multiple violations of the Securities Act of 1934 and Securities Exchange Act of 1975.
  • Christensen and Matic, as well as those entities who were accused of the allegations, agreed to settle their case without admitting nor denying the allegations. The settlement also includes the entry of final judgments that impose permanent injunctions and behavior-based ones.
  • Also, the defendants agreed to forfeit $5,374,482 as well as pay prejudgment interests. Christensen & Matic also agreed to pay $200,000 in penalties and have permanent director and officer bars imposed.

Settlements require court approval. Steven Varholik & Michael Foley conducted the investigation with Marc Katz & Bernard Smyth of the San Francisco Regional Office. Jason H. Lee & David Zhou supervised the investigation.

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What lessons can we draw from this financial story? It is likely that an investment will be a scam if it seems too good to be true. Keep in mind that high-returns often accompany high-risk investments. Don’t let the promise of fast money cloud your judgment or lead you down a dangerous financial road.

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