South Florida Man Charged WIth Operating Fraudulent Private Investment Fund
On January 14th, 2022, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced charges against Anthony M. Cottone—a Delray Beach, Florida man accused of owning and operating a fraudulent private investment fund. The SEC contends that the unregistered South Florida investment advisor misappropriated approximately $134,000 in investor funds. In this blog post, our Miami private placement securities lawyers provide an overview of the allegations raised by the federal government.
Background: Anthony M. Cottone Operated Private Placement Investment Funds
Anthony M. Cottone—a 47-year-old man from Palm Beach County, Florida—owned and operated multiple private investment entities, including Retirement Planning Institute LLC, Secured Capital Strategies Fund, LLC, 449 Auto LLC. Mr. Cottone also previously served as a FINRA registered investment adviser (RIA). He was most recently associated with MidAmerica Financial Services (2012 to 2014), Financial West Group (2014 to 2016), and Landolt Securities (2016 to 2017). In September of 2018, Mr. Cottone was barred from the securities industry for failing to cooperate with a FINRA investigation into allegations of misconduct in violation of Rule 8210.
Allegations: Misappropriation of Investor Funds
In the spring of 2017, an investment company called Secured Delaware was formed. Mr. Cottone was not involved in the formation of the investment entity. However, through his company Retirement Planning Institute LLC, he eventually took full control of Secured Delaware. Secured Delaware was marketed to investors as making loans to private equity companies and hedge funds.
Between March of 2017 and July of 2017, Mr. Cattone raised more than $2.75 million from at least 11 different investors through Secured Delaware. Investors were informed that they would make a safe, reliable return of 12 percent. In June of 2018, the private placement investment company (Secured Delaware) stopped making payments to its investors.
The SEC alleges that Anthony M. Cottone raised funds from investors using false statements and material misrepresentations. Additionally, the federal agency contends that the unregistered investment advisor misappropriated at least $134,000 in investor capital through undisclosed and misleading commission and management fees.
SEC is Seeking Sanctions
Without admitting or denying any of the allegations raised, unregistered investment advisor Anthony M. Cottone consented to entry of a judgment that prevents any federal securities law violations. The judgment also calls for the court to make a ruling on additional financial sanctions at a later date. The SEC is seeking the following financial penalties:
- Disgorgement of all ill-gotten proceeds; and
- Payment of civil financial penalties.
Call Our Miami, FL Private Placement Securities Fraud Attorneys Today
At Carlson & Associates, P.A., our Florida investment fraud lawyers are dedicated advocates for the rights and interests of investors. If you suffered losses in private placement securities, we are available to help you seek justice and compensation. Get in touch with us by phone or send us a direct message for a fully confidential review of your legal case. From our Miami law office, our attorneys represent investors in Miami-Dade County, South Florida, and communities beyond.