A Colorado investment advisor has agreed to a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission over charges she ran a scheme that defrauded her clients, according to Wealth Management.
Ann M. Vick, the founder and owner of AMV Investments, was the subject of a complaint filed by the SEC in U.S. District court. The SEC said that beginning in August 2018, Vick raised about $3.2 million from more than two dozen investors by claiming she was a successful stock options trader and would generate monthly interest of 5-10% on their investments. In reality, the commission said, “Vick’s options trading results were a volatile mix of gains and losses and she had never generated the consistent profits necessary to pay investors the returns she promised.”
According to the complaint, Vick’s trading strategy became riskier as time went on and she began to incur significant trading losses. As a result she was not able to make the payments she had guaranteed to investors or repay principal to prior investors. She allegedly orchestrated a “Ponzi-like” scheme in which she used about $1.9 million in new and existing principal from investors to pay the returns she had promised and to cover the redemptions of previous principal. Vick was also accused of improperly transferring over $570,000 of investors’ funds into personal and corporate bank accounts that were not used for investments.
The SEC said Vick’s conduct violated the antifraud provisions of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and Sections 206(1), 206(2), and 206(4) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and Rule 206(4)-8 thereunder.
In response to the SEC complaint, Vick did not admit or deny the allegations but agreed to a judgment that enjoined her from future violations or selling securities. She consented to pay disgorgement of $570,150 together with a civil penalty of $570,150 and prejudgment interest of nearly $28,000. Vick also agreed to be prohibited from acting as an officer or director of any public company. The settlement is subject to court approval.
The attorneys at Lewitas Hyman are uniquely qualified to represent individual investors in investment-related claims against financial professionals and their firms. We understand how financial professionals and their firms are supposed to operate through decades of experience working for the SEC and firms like Morgan Stanley and UBS Financial Services. If you have suffered investment losses due to misconduct by your financial advisor, contact us at (312) 291-4600 or through our online contact form.