SEC Halts Prime Bank Scheme in Georgia
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged the operators of a long-running prime bank scheme with defrauding investors who were promised sky-high returns on loans to a secret European trust. It also is seeking an emergency court order to freeze the operators’ assets for the benefit of investors.
The SEC alleges that Billy W. McClintock, who lives in Florida, and Dianne Alexander, a former Georgia resident who now lives in California and also is known as Linda Dianne Alexander, raised $15 million from at least 220 investors in more than 20 states, primarily Georgia. McClintock portrayed himself as the “U.S. Director” of a secret European trust that had the power to create money and claimed to have appointed Alexander as a “U.S. Regional Director” for the trust. McClintock and Alexander led investors to believe that they could receive 38 percent annual interest on loans to the trust, provided they abide by the trust’s strict rules requiring secrecy. However, investor money was instead used to merely pay other investors, the hallmark of a Ponzi scheme.
“McClintock and Alexander pitched an investment opportunity that simply did not exist. They merely reshuffled funds between investors in a modern take on a classic prime bank scheme,” said William P. Hicks, Associate Director of Enforcement in the SEC’s Atlanta Regional Office.
According to the SEC’s complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, McClintock and Alexander began conducting the scheme by at least 2004 and misrepresented or omitted facts about investment risks, expected returns, and how investor funds would be used. The complaint charges McClintock and Alexander with violating the securities registration, broker-dealer registration, and antifraud provisions of the U.S. securities laws and a related SEC anti-fraud rule.
The SEC’s complaint also names as relief defendants two entities that McClintock controls — MSC Holdings USA LLC, and MSC Holdings Inc. — and another entity controlled by Alexander — MSC GA Holdings LLC. The SEC believes the three firms may have received ill-gotten assets from the fraud that should be returned to investors.
Information on how to avoid prime bank frauds is available at: http://www.sec.gov/divisions/enforce/primebank.shtml and http://investor.gov/investing-basics/avoiding-fraud/types-fraud/prime-bank-investments
The SEC’s investigation, which is continuing, has been conducted by Natalie M. Brunson and Lucy T. Graetz of the SEC's Atlanta Regional Office under the supervision of Aaron W. Lipson. Senior Trial Counsel Pat Huddleston II will lead the litigation. The SEC acknowledges the assistance of the U. S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Atlanta Division in this matter.