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Unregistered Investment Advisor Uses KPMG as Cover for Fraud Scheme

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it filed an emergency action, and obtained an asset freeze, against unregistered investment advisers Jack C. Ridall and Guss Capital LLC for allegedly committing securities fraud through a scheme to deceive investors using fabricated audit reports and attorney letters.

According to the SEC’s complaint, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida and unsealed today, the SEC alleges that from at least December 2020, Ridall and Guss Capital represented themselves as successful money managers and raised approximately $750,000 from at least four investors by representing that they would invest their money in a private fund.

The defendants allegedly deceived investors by never investing their money as promised, using fabricated audit reports appearing to be from the global accounting firm KPMG LLP claiming Ridall managed $101 million in assets, and sending fake attorney letters purportedly from the international law firm of K&L Gates LLP lying about investors’ profits.

The SEC’s complaint alleges that the defendants misappropriated more than 75% of investor funds for personal expenses such as luxury vehicles, fine dining and jewelry and shopping sprees in Miami Beach, Florida.

The SEC’s complaint charges the defendants with violations of the antifraud provisions. The SEC seeks an asset freeze, a permanent injunction, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains plus prejudgment interest and civil money penalties. The complaint also names Ridall’s wife, Shannon A. Sharp, as a relief defendant due to her allegedly receiving over $94,000 in investor money for no apparent legitimate purpose and seeks disgorgement and prejudgment interest from her.

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