SEC Charges Jenny Coplan in Affinity Fraud and Ponzi Scheme

SEC v. Jenny E. Coplan, Case No. 1:13-cv-62127 (S.D. Fla.).  On September 30, 2013, the SEC announced charges against Jenny E. Coplan for allegedly conducting a Ponzi scheme and affinity fraud that targeted the Colombian-American community.  According to the SEC, Coplan raised about $4 million by soliciting investors in personal discussions both over the phone and in person.  The SEC alleges that Coplan lied to investors by telling them: (1) that her company operated through an investment broker that would invest funds in immigration bail bonds, (2) that investors would get interest payments of 60 to 108 percent annually, and (3) that the investments were safe and the money insured by the FDIC.  In reality, however, Coplan never placed investors’ funds with an investment broker.  Rather, the SEC alleges that she paid purported profits to earlier investors using funds from newer investors in classic Ponzi scheme fashion.  She also misappropriated about $878,000.  The SEC further alleges that Coplan created bogus investor statements that hid her misuse of investor money and lead investors to believe their investments were growing.

The SEC’s complaint charges Coplan with violating Sections 5(a), 5(c) and 17(a) of the Securities Act, Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.  The SEC’s complaint also charges Coplan with violations of Section 15(a) of the Exchange Act.  The SEC seeks disgorgement, civil monetary penalties, and injunctive relief against Coplan.  In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida today announced criminal charges against Coplan.

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