Home Alts News SEC Charges Investment Fund Founder with Defrauding Investors of $25 Million

SEC Charges Investment Fund Founder with Defrauding Investors of $25 Million

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged William K. Ichioka, of New York, New York, with fraudulently raising $25 million from individual investors primarily in California and Oregon by making false claims about his investing success and promising large, anticipated returns but instead using investor funds for gambling and to enrich himself.

Ichioka has agreed to resolve the charges against him.

According to the SEC’s complaint, filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, from at least June 2019 to October 2021, Ichioka solicited investments for his unregistered investment fund, Ichioka Ventures, by claiming he was an accomplished investor, promising oversized returns and guaranteeing investors’ principal.

However, as the complaint alleges, Ichioka was unable to pay investors the promised returns and used money from new investors to repay other investors. Also, as alleged in the complaint, Ichioka falsified a bank statement and other documents to create an appearance of success. Finally, according to the complaint, Ichioka also misappropriated millions of investors’ funds for personal use, such as on luxury watches, cars, gambling and a penthouse apartment.

By at least late 2021, Ichioka Ventures became unable to meet investor withdrawal requests and the fund currently owes investors millions of dollars in principal.

The SEC’s complaint charges Ichioka with violating the antifraud provisions of the SEC. Ichioka has agreed to the entry of a partial final judgment, subject to court approval, imposing requested permanent and conduct-based injunctions as well as an officer and director bar, and reserving issues of disgorgement, prejudgment interest and a civil penalty for further determination by the court.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California (USAO) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) also announced charges against Ichioka.

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