The SEC has commenced proceedings against a barred investment adviser for fraudulent statements made during a note offering. The SEC alleges that the respondents concealed a barred adviser’s disciplinary history and industry bars by entering into a bogus operating agreement showing a 5% ownership interest when he had a 50% stake. The other partner to the venture had little to no securities experience. The SEC accuses the respondents of lying to investors to induce them to purchase promissory notes with their self-directed IRA accounts. The respondents allegedly lied about performance, safety, track record, and credentials.
This is exactly why the industry needs an active regulator. Only by ridding the industry of (alleged) liars and thieves like this can the investment industry instill confidence in the regulators, the clients, and the lawmakers. Ultimately, strong regulation facilitates growth as evidenced by the $20 Trillion in assets in registered funds and ETFs, the most regulated investment products on the planet.