SEC Charges Meritage Financial Group and Owner Steven J. Susoeff with Cherry-Picking Scheme

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a suit against Steve Susoeff LLC (dba Meritage Financial Group), and its owner Steven J. Susoeff for defrauding clients. The Nevada investment adviser has been accused of running a cherry picking scheme.

Susoeff is accused of trading securities from January 2021 to July 2021 using Meritage’s omnibus account. He did not assign the trades until later that day to clients or personal accounts. Susoeff allegedly unfairly assigned profitable trades for himself and his two favorite clients while assigning unprofitable ones to the other client accounts.

In its complaint filed before the U.S. District Court of Nevada for the District of Nevada on behalf of the SEC, Susoeff, and Meritage are accused of violating securities laws. The complaint asks for permanent injunctions as well as disgorgement and prejudgment interests, civil penalties, and civil penalties.

Rachita Gullapalli and Nicolas Lopez from the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis assisted the Los Angeles Regional Office in conducting the SEC investigation. Douglas Miller, under the supervision of Gary Leung, will lead and supervise the litigation.

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Securities and Exchange Commission is the regulatory agency that enforces and oversees securities laws in the United States. Its main goal is to protect investors through fair and transparent markets. This includes facilitating capital formation and maintaining the integrity in the securities market. The SEC regulates a variety of participants on the securities market including public companies and investment advisers. It also regulates brokers, dealers, and brokers. The SEC requires that companies disclose financial information relevant to the public. It also monitors insider-trading activities and investigates possible violations of securities laws. The SEC is a key player in maintaining investor trust and promoting stability and efficiency of U.S. Financial Markets.

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