U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 20322 / October 3, 2007
SEC v. Donald Matthew Greth, et al., Civil Action No. 05-5040 (D.N.J.)
SEC Completes Distribution of $513,000 to Victims of a Ponzi Scheme
On October 3, 2007, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced the distribution of, approximately, $513,000 to victims of a Ponzi scheme perpetrated by the late Donald Matthew Greth ("Greth") and Brenda B. Melton ("Melton"). This distribution represents the completion of the emergency action filed by the Commission in October 2005 against Greth and Melton (the "Civil Action").
In the Civil Action, the Commission alleged that, since June 2003, Greth and Melton engaged in a fraudulent scheme to deceive investors, using misrepresentations and omissions of material fact in connection with the offer and sale of shares in a fictitious "Christian" investment fund run by Greth. The Commission alleged that, in fact, the defendants were using the funds from new investors to pay prior investors and to enrich themselves. The Commission charged Greth and Melton with violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and further charged Greth with violations of Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.
Greth died immediately after the filing of the Civil Action, and the Commission pursued its claims for monetary relief against Greth's Estate. The Commission ultimately resolved the litigation with both the Estate and Melton, resulting in judgments to which the defendants consented without admitting or denying the factual allegations in the Complaint. The judgment against the Estate, entered by the Court on February 23, 2007, ordered the Estate to pay a total $1,377,984 in disgorgement and prejudgment interest. The judgment against Melton, entered by the Court on May 25, 2007, permanently enjoined her from violations of the referenced antifraud provisions, and ordered her to pay approximately $43,000 in disgorgement and prejudgment interest, but waived all but, approximately, $19,000, and did not impose a civil penalty, based on her inability to pay.
The funds were distributed pursuant to a Court approved Final Distribution Plan, a copy of which can be obtained at:
For further information on the Civil Action, see Litigation Release No. 19441 at: