SEC Charges Investment Adviser and Businesses with Multipart Offering Fraud

The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed charges against Michael Wayne Williams. Williams is an investment advisor who was previously registered in Georgia and now resides in Miami. He also controls two companies, Highguard Capital LP and Guardian Opportunity Management LP. The charges are related to an alleged multipart fraud.

According to the SEC complaint, Williams and Highguard Capital allegedly sold securities worth more than $1.8 million to Guardian Opportunity Management investors between February 2016 and August 2017. Williams claimed Guardian Opportunity Management is the investment manager of Guardian Opportunity Fund – a new private fund that he’s starting. The complaint claims that Williams deceived his investors by diverting money from three previous funds he planned to close in order to pay investors.

Williams and Guardian Opportunity Management are also accused of obtaining $16 million in investment funds between March 2016 to October 2022 by using false performance guarantees. Williams and Highguard Capital are also accused of fraudulently selling over $1 million in securities interests to a Mississippi woman in February 2021. They falsely claimed that the money would be used for the Guardian Opportunity Fund. Williams used her money instead to repay previous investors in Guardian Opportunity Management.

The SEC has filed a complaint at the United States District Court for Northern District of Georgia. Williams, Guardian Opportunity Management and Highguard Capital are accused of violating various securities laws. The SEC wants permanent injunctive measures, disgorgement, prejudgment interest and civil penalties for each defendant.

The SEC’s investigation was conducted primarily by individuals in its Atlanta Regional Office with the assistance of the Division of Examinations of the Chicago Regional Office and Enforcement Division’s Office of Investigative and Market Analytics. Paul Kim, under the supervision of M. Graham Loomis, will be leading the litigation. All parties are currently involved in the case.

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Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC for short, is the regulatory agency of the United States. It oversees and enforces securities laws. The primary goal of the SEC is to protect investors and maintain fair, efficient, and transparent markets. This is achieved by the SEC requiring that companies disclose relevant financial data to the public. It also regulates securities exchanges and broker firms, and enforces laws against fraudulent activity in the securities markets. The SEC is also responsible for ensuring companies adhere to the rules and regulations governing the trading and issuance of securities such as bonds and stocks. SEC promotes transparency, investor confidence, and fairness to encourage a healthy, vibrant, and vibrant US securities market.

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