SEC Charges Florida Investment Fraud With Securities Law Violations
On October 2nd, 2023, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced securities fraud charges against several Florida-based investment entities, including Pisces Income Fund, LLC and Pisces Income Fund Parallel, LLC. Two individuals—Shannon Westhead and Alec Vagnozzi—were named as the principal operators of the funds. Notably, the securities fraud charges are related to the Par Funding Ponzi scheme case. Within this blog post, our Miami securities litigation attorney provides a more detailed review of the allegations raised in federal court.
The Allegations: Pisces Income Fund, LLC and Pisces Income Fund Parallel, LLC
The SEC laid out the allegations against Pisces Income Fund, LLC, Pisces Income Fund Parallel, LLC, Shannon Westhead, Alec Vagnozzi, and other associated parties and entities in a complaint filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
Among other things, the SEC alleges violation of federal securities law and the participation in a fraudulent scheme exceeding $500 million. According to the federal agency, the investment funds and their principals raised a collective $65 million from approximately 260 different investors.
Remarkably, the funds were for an unregistered securities offering in an investment entity called Complete Business Solutions Group (CBSG), which does business under the name Par Funding. Par Funding and its principals stand accused of fleecing investors out of nearly $550 million.
An Overview of the Par Funding Investment Fraud Case
Par Funding—officially known as Complete Business Solutions Group—became the epicenter of significant legal scrutiny led by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2021. The SEC accused Par Funding and its operators of orchestrating a fraudulent securities scheme that exhibited many of the common characteristics of a Ponzi scheme.
Among other things, the SEC alleges that the principals of Par Funding misled investors regarding the financial well-being and inherent risks of their business operations. They were suspected of concealing the precarious nature of their loan portfolio and the high default rates. Beyond that, the SEC contends that funds from new investors were used to cover payments to the original investors.
Ponzi Schemes are One of the Most Common Types of Investment Fraud
Unfortunately, Ponzi schemes remain one of the most common examples of investment fraud. Broadly explained, a Ponzi scheme is a deceptive investment project whereby funds from investors are shuffled around—most often with the money from new investors being used to pay the previous investors. In effect, a facade of profitability and sustainability is created. However, such schemes are inherently flawed and doomed to collapse, typically leaving investors with significant losses.
Contact Our Florida Securities Fraud Attorney for a Confidential Consultation
At Carlson & Associates, P.A., we are devoted to fighting for the best interests of investors. We always put the needs of our clients first. If you sustained financial losses as a consequence of securities fraud, we are here as a legal resource. Give us a phone call or connect with us online for your confidential, no obligation consultation. Our firm has a main office in Miami, Florida.