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SEC Bars Florida Man Who Operated $35 Million Ponzi Scheme

SEC Bars Florida Man Who Operated $35 Million Ponzi Scheme. Broker-dealer, fraud, Seaman, Accanito, regulatory, SEC, Securities and Exchange Commission, Florida

A settlement was offered and accepted in the civil action, Securities and Exchange Commission v. Seaman, et. al. Brent Seaman of Naples, Fla., acted as an unregistered broker or dealer by selling securities of Accanito Equity, LLC, Accanito Equity II, LLC, Accanito Equity III, LLC, and Accanito Equity IV, LLC, from June 2019 until September 2022.

According to previous reporting by The DI Wire in July 2023, Seaman raised approximately $35 million from at least 60 investors through the unregistered securities offering. Many of these investors were elderly, retired, and connected to a Naples church where Seaman was an active member.

As The DI Wire reported in August 2023, SEC charges were also brought against Blake Cathey in the matter. Supposedly Seaman employed Cathey, a childhood friend of Seaman’s son, who sold at least $4.6 million of the Accanito securities to 15 retail investors located in five states.

The SEC’s complaint alleged that Seaman told investors he would use their money to purchase the Accanito funds. Supposedly, Seaman falsely promised annual returns ranging between 18 percent and 48 percent and described the investments as “safe.” The SEC says Seaman failed to disclose his two personal bankruptcies, and that he had been convicted of fraud and served time in prison. In connection with the sale of these securities, Seaman misappropriated millions of dollars for himself, in part to purchase luxury automobiles and pay for trips on private planes. Finally, Seaman made Ponzi-like payments to investors because he did not generate profits in connection with his trading sufficient to pay investors their required monthly distributions.

According to SEC administrative filings on Jan. 18, 2024, it was ordered pursuant to Section 15(b)(6) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that Seaman be barred from association with any broker, dealer, investment adviser, municipal securities dealer, municipal advisor, transfer agent, or nationally recognized statistical rating organization. Also, pursuant to Section 15(b)(6) of the Exchange Act, Seaman was barred from participating in any offering of a penny stock, including: acting as a promoter, finder, consultant, agent or other person who engages in activities with a broker, dealer or issuer for purposes of the issuance or trading in any penny stock, or inducing or attempting to induce the purchase or sale of any penny stock.

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