US - The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it had filed an emergency enforcement action to "halt a fraudulent real estate investment scheme that bilked [pensioners] out of millions of dollars".
The SEC's complaint claims that Edward Tackaberry and Mark Palazzo made fraudulent solicitations and misappropriated investor funds worth “at least US$15m” in unregistered transactions between 1996 and 2004 from over 275 investors, most of whom are senior citizens.
The case alleges that Palazzo and Tackaberry achieved this by issuing promissory notes in various real estate investment companies.
“Tackaberry and Palazzo owned and managed all of these real estate investment companies,” the SEC said. “The complaint further alleges that the defendants have been engaged in a fraudulent scheme, in which the defendants have made numerous misrepresentations and omissions to investors concerning their investments and the real estate investment companies' financial condition.”
The SEC said it would seek an asset freeze, appointment of a temporary receiver and the “return of the defendants' ill-gotten gains”.
Mark Schonfeld, director of the SEC’s Northeast regional office said the case emphasised the Commission’s commitment to protecting elderly investors and to holding accountable those who defraud senior citizens of their savings.
By Damian Clarkson
Most respondents in this week's Pensions Buzz do not think businesses should be able suspend AE contributions if in financial distress.
Former BHS owner Dominic Chappell has lost the appeal against his section 72 conviction and sentence for failing to hand over information to The Pensions Regulator (TPR).
This week's top stories include Marsh and McLennan Companies agreeing to buy JLT, and the home secretary calling for AE to be scrapped in a no-deal Brexit scenario.
Lesley Titcomb says the watchdog wants closer interactions with pension funds to spot problems sooner and act before having to use its more stringent powers