Litigation Release Number Litigation Release No.
Securities and Exchange Commission, et. al. v. Seong Yeol Lee and Ameritrust Corporation. 3:23-cv-01125 (D. Conn. Filed Feb. 1, 2023)
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), announced that, on February 10th 2023, a court granted certain emergency relief as part of the SEC’s ongoing action against Seong Yeol Lee and Ameritrust Corporation. The order freezes some assets, and it applies to two entities that are associated with Lee and Ameritrust. According to the SEC, Lee and Ameritrust allegedly misled investors and stole $4 million in total from them.
The temporary order of the court, which was agreed to by all parties involved, prevents Lee and Ameritrust’s violation of certain anti-fraud provisions in the Securities Laws and their solicitation or acceptance of funds from investors. Ameritrust’s bank accounts and those of two affiliate entities, named as relief defendants, are also frozen. The temporary order is in place for 60 days to give Lee and Ameritrust the time they need to hire counsel. By accepting the order, Lee & Ameritrust don’t admit any wrongdoing or waive any rights in the SEC action.
According to the SEC complaint, Lee recruited over $20 million in investment primarily from the Republic of Korea via a network of recruiters. Investors sent money to Lee’s corporate and personal accounts in the United States with the promise that they would buy shares in Ameritrust – a publicly traded firm. Lee promised profits on these shares by claiming that they would be listed at a national exchange. The complaint claims that Ameritrust does not have any real operations, and hasn’t taken steps to submit an application for a stock exchange listing. Lee is accused misappropriating up to $4 million from investors by transferring the money to personal accounts of his children and other relief defendants. Lee and Ameritrust have also been accused of making false claims or not disclosing material information when filing with the SEC.
The SEC’s Complaint charges Lee and Ameritrust of violating the Securities Laws and seeks permanent Injunctive Relief, disgorgement with prejudgment, civil penalties and an officer, director and penny stock barre against Lee.
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SEC: What You Need to Know
Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, is the regulatory agency for the United States. It oversees and enforces securities laws. Its main objective is to protect and promote investors, ensure fair and efficient markets and facilitate capital formation. This is achieved by the SEC ensuring that companies provide accurate, timely information to the general public, regulating securities professionals’ activities, and enforcing the securities laws in order to prevent fraud and misconduct. The SEC is also crucial in maintaining market stability and integrity, promoting transparency and fostering investor trust.
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