Imagine, dear reader: You invest your hard-earned cash, or even your retirement savings in a venture that promises high returns only to find out your money is not being used the way you were promised. Can you imagine the disappointment, shock and heartbreak that would result from this betrayal? This nightmare scenario has become a reality in Oregon for many retirees, retail investors and other individuals.
Robert D. Christensen, Anthony M. Matic, the founders of Foresee, Inc., The Commission PDX, LLC, The Policy PDX, LLC, Innings 150, LLC, started their siren’s song. They offered an attractive interest rate between nine and 15 percent. Their melody was so sweet that it attracted unwary investors like moths. We all know that flames may not be what they appear to be.
The promise was only a mirage. It was an illusion, a desert in a vast world of financial opportunities. These investors were not rewarded with a lush oasis but instead stumbled across a Ponzi scheme. The structure of the operation was similar to a house built of cards. It relied on a constant flow of new investors in order to avoid collapsing.
You ask, “Where did the money go?” You’re right, dear reader. It wasn’t where they promised. The money was not invested in real estate but instead used to pay for personal luxuries like vacations, gifts and casino trips. It also paid for massages, whiskey club memberships, massages and cryotherapy.
Like a wolf dressed in sheep’s clothes, these actions were concealed under the cover of a legitimate commercial operation. The truth came out, as is often the case. The U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon entered final judgments in favor of Christensen and Matic as well as their related entities. They were permanently prohibited from violating the Securities Act of 1953 and Securities Exchange Act of 1984.
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The judgment also includes conduct-based injunctions, and Christensen’s and Matic’s payment of a massive $5.374,482 disgorgement as well as prejudgment interest. Both men must also pay a $200,000 fine and be permanently barred as directors or officers.
Steven Varholik & Michael Foley carried out SEC’s investigation with Marc Katz & Bernard Smyth. Jason H. Lee supervised the investigation. As if they were a well oiled machine, the two worked tirelessly to ensure that justice was done.
This story serves as a warning to all investors. This story emphasizes the importance of being diligent and questioning promises that are too good to be real. They are, as we saw in this case.