U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Litigation Release No. 21921 / April 7, 2011
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION v. MAM WEALTH MANAGEMENT, LLC, MAMW REAL ESTATE FUND GENERAL PARTNER, LLC, ALEX MARTINEZ, AND RAPHAEL R. SANCHEZ, Civil Action No. CV 11-2934 SJO (JCx) (C.D. Ca.)]
SEC CHARGES INVESTMENT ADVISER, FUND MANAGER AND TWO INDIVIDUALS WITH SECURITIES FRAUD INVOLVING CLIENT FUNDS
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the filing of a civil injunctive action in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, California against MAM Wealth Management, LLC (MAM), MAMW Real Estate General Partner, LLC (MAMW), Alex Martinez and Ralph Sanchez, alleging fraud in connection with client investments in a $10.3 million risky real estate venture. According to the Commission's complaint, from July 2007 through March 2009, Martinez, a MAM and MAMW principal, and Ralph Sanchez, a MAM registered representative and MAMW principal, had 50 of their advisory clients invest in MAM Wealth Management Real Estate Fund, LLC (Fund). The complaint alleges that Martinez and Sanchez misrepresented to some clients that the Fund was a safe, relatively liquid investment, was earning 9% per year, and would show profits in three years. The complaint alleges that they used their discretionary authority over other clients’ funds to invest them in the Fund, even though it was unsuitable for their conservative investment goals. The complaint alleges that many accounts were retirement accounts and that the Fund was an unsuitable investment for clients who did not have the ability and willingness to accept the risks of losing their entire investment. The complaint further alleges that the defendants caused the Fund to use client funds to make risky mortgage loans.
The complaint alleges that the defendants have violated the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws, including violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder by MAM, MAMW, Martinez and Sanchez and Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Investment Advisers Act by MAM and Martinez and aiding and abetting violations of Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Investment Advisers Act by Sanchez. The SEC seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains plus prejudgment interest, and monetary penalties.