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JAG Advisory Firm CIO Pleads Guilty to Securities Fraud

The founder and chief investment officer of advisory firm JAG Capital Advisors LLC and investment fund JAG Cap LLC pleaded guilty in a Newark, N.J., federal court to one count of securities fraud related to a three-year scam that swindled investors in purported “diversified tech opportunities” of at least $3 million.

According to past reporting by The DI Wire, Joshua Goltry, age 30 of New York, and JAG Advisors raised at least $3 million from approximately nine investors through deceitful practices from 2020 to 2023. They misrepresented the fund’s performance and concealed significant trading losses.

“Fraudsters operating what amounts to a Ponzi scheme shouldn’t be shocked when the cash dries up,” said James E. Dennehy, FBI Newark special agent in charge. “They’re usually spending exorbitant amounts of other people’s money on lavish lifestyles, with no thought to what happens next.”

“Goltry admits lying to his clients, promising huge returns that he pulled out of thin air, and then lying several more times to secure funding so he could keep the scheme going. It should also come as no surprise that his criminal behavior led to the FBI investigating him and holding him accountable,” added Dennehy.

As an example of Goltry’s actions, in late 2020, he sent potential investors marketing materials falsely claiming that JAG Capital’s track record included positive returns nearly every quarter from 2018 through mid-2020, with three of those quarters showing returns greater than 50 percent. He also claimed that JAG Capital outperformed three well-known stock indices nearly every quarter. In April 2021, in reliance on those and other misrepresentations, two victims invested a total of $700,000 in JAG Capital.

Goltry also claimed to potential investors that JAG Capital’s performance exceeded 200 percent; at other times, he claimed its performance exceeded 1,000 percent. He also claimed that JAG Capital managed more than $20 million; at other times, he told potential investors that JAG Capital managed more than $50 million.

Goltry claimed to investors that he would invest their money in securities for which he performed “extensive due diligence,” including “diversified tech opportunities” when in reality, he used investor money to repay previous investors and to pay for his own lifestyle, including paying for the rent on his Manhattan apartment, vacations, and personal credit card bills. Goltry and his firm reportedly spent at least $1.1 million on personal expenses, including travel and jewelry, and lost more than $1.7 million through high-risk trading and speculative investments. To hide these losses, Goltry and JAG Advisors were accused of falsifying expense invoices and other documents.

In May 2023, after depleting nearly all investor money, Goltry sought a short-term loan from an investment company by submitting false and forged documents purporting to be from the Red Bank, N.J., office of a national bank. In reliance on those false documents, the investment company transferred $150,000 to JAG Capital.

Goltry pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud, which carries a maximum potential sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of the greater of $250,000 or twice the gain or loss resulting from the offense. He is scheduled to be sentenced on October 19.

In a parallel action, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged Goltry and JAG Advisors with violating anti-fraud provisions of federal securities laws, charges he agreed to settle.

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