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SEC Charges Broker with Defrauding Investor of Millions

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged former broker Surage Kamal Roshan Perera and his firm, Janues Capital Incorporated, with defrauding at least one investor out of millions by lying about investment opportunities and strategies, concealing trading losses, and using funds received from others to give the victim the promised returns in Ponzi-like fashion.

The SEC has obtained emergency relief in court, including a temporary restraining order and an asset freeze.

According to the SEC’s complaint, from February 2022 until March 2023, Perera, a Long Island, New York resident, falsely told an investor that Janues had access to specific restricted securities at discounted prices though connections with large, institutional investors.

He allegedly claimed to also exercise a trading strategy, which he referred to as ‘Options Straddles,’ that would not only prevent any trading losses but also guarantee returns on some of the investments of up to 9% with the potential for returns of 50%.

According to the complaint, Perera and Janues misappropriated at least $3.5 million of the investor’s funds to engage in highly speculative and leveraged trading. In total, Perera engaged in more than $2.5 billion in securities transactions, with nearly $3 million in trading losses. Perera then allegedly concealed the misappropriation and losses by providing the investor with phony confirmations and account statements that falsely showed the expected returns. The complaint also alleges that Perera further attempted to hide the losses by using funds received from other sources to make Ponzi-like payments to the investor.

“As noted in our complaint, Perera and his firm Janues engaged in predatory and fraudulent behavior by claiming to have special access to securities through their professional connections, but instead defrauded millions of dollars from his investor,” said Antonia Apps, director of the New York Regional Office. “We will continue to pursue individuals who prey upon retail investors and steal money from their clients.”

In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York announced criminal charges against Perera.

The SEC’s complaint alleges that Perera and Janues violated antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws. Perera also was charged with aiding and abetting Janues’ alleged violations. According to the SEC’s complaint, Nishani Alahakoon, whose brokerage account Perera and Janues traded, is named as a relief defendant.

The asset freeze obtained by the SEC prevents any further dissipation of investor funds. The SEC is seeking permanent injunctions and disgorgement of ill-gotten gains plus interest and penalties.

According to BrokerCheck, Perera has worked for 11 firms since 2003, five of which were expelled by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. He most recently spent four years with Aegis Capital Corporation and prior to that, less than a year at Maxim Group LLC.

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