The Securities and Exchange Commission has amended its complaint against Safeguard Metals LLC and Jeffrey Ikahn. They are accused of orchestrating a fraud scheme that targeted hundreds near-retirement investors. The amended complaint reflects that defendant Jeffrey S. Santulan has changed his name to “Jeffrey Ikahn.”
According to the SEC Safeguard, Ikahn acted between December 2017 and 2021 as investment advisors, convincing investors that they should sell their securities and move the proceeds to Individual Retirement Accounts. The SEC claims that Safeguard and Ikahn acted as investment advisers between December 2017 and July 2021, convincing investors to sell their existing securities and transfer the proceeds into self-directed Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).
Safeguard is accused by the SEC of falsely presenting itself as a full services investment firm that had offices in London, New York City and Beverly Hills. Safeguard claimed to manage assets worth $11 billion and employed individuals who were well known in the securities industry. Ikahn operated his company from a small, rented space in an office building in Woodland Hills (California), allegedly using sales agents. According to the amended complaint, Safeguard’s agents used scripts that were prepared by Ikahn and contained misleading statements about a market crash imminent as well as the freezing of retirement funds under a law not disclosed.
Safeguard, Ikahn and other coin sellers are accused of misleading their investors on commissions and markups. The markups they charged on silver coins were 64% rather than the 4%-33% that was disclosed. Safeguard allegedly made $67 million by selling coins to 450 mostly elderly retail investors. The company pocketed $25.5 million as markups.
In its amended complaint filed before the federal district court of the Central District of California by the SEC, Safeguard and Ikahn are accused of violating antifraud provisions of Securities Exchange Act of 1933 and Investment Advisers Act of 1980. Ikahn is also accused of aiding Safeguard in its violations, and of acting as a Control Person under the Securities Exchange Act of 1933. The SEC seeks permanent injunctions as well as disgorgement and prejudgment interests, civil penalties, and disgorgement of gains allegedly obtained illegally.
Under the supervision of Anne C. McKinley, Jedediah Forkner and Jean M. Javorski from the SEC Chicago Regional Office led the investigation. Jonathan S. Polish will oversee the litigation. The SEC thanks the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, state regulators and members of North American Securities Administrators Association for their assistance.
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Securities and Exchange Commission is the regulatory agency of the United States that protects investors and maintains fair and efficient markets. This is achieved by the SEC through a number of actions.
1. Regulation and oversight: The SEC is responsible for enforcing federal securities laws and ensuring compliance by companies and individuals who are involved in securities transactions. The SEC oversees exchanges of securities, brokers, investment advisers and other market participants.
2. Disclosure Requirements. The SEC mandates companies to provide accurate and timely data to investors. It requires public companies that they submit regular financial reports, and to disclose material information that could impact investment decisions. It promotes transparency, which helps investors to make informed decisions.
3. Enforcement Actions – The SEC can take legal action to stop fraudulent or manipulative activities. It investigates, prosecutes, and tries cases of insider trade, accounting frauds, Ponzi Schemes, and other securities laws violations. In doing so, it aims to maintain integrity in the markets and protect investors against fraudulent activities.
4. Investor Education and Outreach – The SEC educates, empowers, and warns investors about scams and fraudulent schemes by providing them with resources, guides and warnings. The SEC also runs outreach programs that educate the public on investing, financial literacy and the risks of different investment products.
5. SEC Policy and Rulemaking: The SEC is responsible for developing and implementing rules and regulations that address market challenges, protect investors, and respond to emerging issues. The SEC continuously updates and evaluates its regulatory framework, adapting to market conditions that are constantly changing and technological advancements. Investor protection is always a top priority.
The SEC has three primary goals: to promote fair and transparent markets; protect investors against fraud and misconduct; and promote capital formation. The SEC is a vital player in protecting the interests of American investors through its regulatory actions, enforcement actions and investor education initiatives.
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