Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a lawsuit against Legend Venture Partners LLC – a broker-dealer that is not registered and based in New York City. The SEC has obtained a preliminary order, an asset freeze and other emergency relief for the company’s involvement in a fraud scheme. The scheme involved selling interests in private companies with the potential to be listed on the stock exchange. Legend’s principals, sales agents and other employees had worked at StraightPath Venture Partners LLC – a company shut down last year by the SEC for a similar scam.
According to the complaint filed by SEC on June 22, 2023 regarding Legend’s boiler room operations, Legend operated from February until October 2022. These operations included the sale of securities by the Legend Funds that invested in shares and interests in certain pre-IPO companies. Legend used a large network of unregistered agents to make cold calls. They raised over $35 million by more than 300 investors.
In its complaint, the SEC alleges that Legend misled investors. The SEC’s complaint alleges that Legend made several misstatements to investors. Legend allegedly charged unreported, excessive markups of up to 105 per cent on pre-IPO share prices. Legend also paid more than $12,8 million upfront to its agents and principals.
The Securities Act of 1933 and Securities Exchange Act of 1935, as well as the Investment Advisers Act of 40, have been cited by the SEC against Legend. The SEC has filed a complaint at the U.S. District Court of Southern District of New York. Judge Lewis A. Kaplan issued a temporary restraining, asset freezing, and other relief on June 23, 2023. In a June 27 hearing, Judge Kaplan granted an injunction prohibiting Legend to violate the federal securities laws. The SEC has yet to make a decision regarding its request for a receivership over Legend and Legend Funds.
The SEC is currently investigating this matter. Members of the Asset Management Unit as well as the New York Regional Office are involved. SEC investor bulletins such as can provide investors with more information on the risks of investing in unregistered securities. “10 Red Flags That An Unregistered Offering May Be A Scam.”
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The Securities and Exchange Commission is a U.S. regulatory agency that was established to protect investors, ensure fair and efficient markets and facilitate capital formation. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) oversees and enforces laws, regulations and rules pertaining to securities, ensuring compliance by companies and individuals. The SEC’s primary responsibility is to register and regulate securities exchanges, broker, dealers, and financial advisors. SEC requires that public companies disclose financial information relevant to the public to enable investors to make informed choices. SEC also takes legal action and investigates individuals and companies involved in fraudulent or unlawful activities in the securities markets. Overall, the SEC has a vital role to play in promoting fairness, transparency, and investor trust in the U.S. market.
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