A Minnesota couple has been charged in federal court with operating a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors out of millions of dollars.
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Tuesday that it had filed an emergency action against Jason Dodd Bullard, Angela Romero-Bullard, and their controlled entity, Bullard Enterprises LLC.
The SEC’s complaint alleged that from at least 2007 to 2021, the Bullards raised about $17.6 million from up to 200 investors, a group comprised mostly of friends, family members and elderly retirees.
The investors were told that their funds would be used to trade foreign currencies, and were then sent statements purporting to show that their accounts were increasing in value.
But the SEC stated that Bullard Enterprises had actually stopped trading foreign currencies in 2015 and was using money coming in from new investors to pay existing investors.
“Instead of delivering on their promises, these individuals used false statements and fraudulent documents to convince investors to pour millions of dollars into bank accounts used almost exclusively for Ponzi-style payments and for their personal benefit,” said Nekia Hackworth Jones, Director of the SEC’s Atlanta Regional Office.
The Bullards also were accused of misappropriating money that had received from the investors to help fund other businesses they owned, including a horse racing stable. They were charged with violating the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws.
The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court in Minnesota, and the SEC obtained a temporary restraining order and an asset freeze against the defendants.
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