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Virginia financial advisor charged with defrauding investors and clients

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2023 | Financial Advisor Misconduct

A Virginia financial advisor has been charged with engaging in a fraudulent investment scheme, according to Investment News.

The Securities and Exchange Commission detailed the charges against Ryan R. Riley in a complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

The SEC alleges that from January 2014 through September 2019, Riley solicited advisory clients and other individuals to invest in securities issued by his companies, Green Light Energy and Mustang Resources Inc. According to the complaint, Riley obtained over $480,000 from about a dozen individuals after inducing them to buy securities through false and misleading statements as well as omissions about the companies’ prospects of lucrative energy deals.

The SEC stated that contrary to what he told his investors and clients, Riley used their funds for personal expenses such as paying his own grocery, restaurant, mortgage, and credit card bills, and lost nearly all of the remaining funds through day trading.

”Instead of disclosing these losses—or revealing to his clients and investors how he had used their money—Riley lied about the energy deals he claimed his companies were undertaking,” the complaint said.

Riley was charged with violating Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Exchange Act Rule 10b-5, and Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. The SEC is seeking to permanently enjoin Riley from violating these laws again, along with disgorgement of ill-gotten gains derived from his unlawful activity, with prejudgment interest, civil penalties, and an order prohibiting Riley from serving as an officer or director.

Along with the SEC’s charges, Riley also was the subject of a criminal matter in which he waived his right to prosecution by indictment and consented to prosecution by information. He pleaded guilty in the case and was ordered to pay restitution of at least $434,000.

The attorneys at Lewitas Hyman have decades of experience dealing with securities fraud cases and have a deep understanding of how capital markets and financial service firms are intended to work to protect investors. We bring a unique level of knowledge and experience when representing the rights of investors, including resolving cases through arbitration and litigation when necessary. If you think your financial professional or firm engaged in misconduct that caused you investment losses, contact Lewitas Hyman at (888) 655-6002 or through our online contact form for a no-cost evaluation of your matter.