U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 21975 / May 23, 2011
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION v. CHRISTOPHER T. VULLIEZ, ET AL., Civil Action No. 11-cv-3458 (RMB ) (S.D.N.Y.)
SEC OBTAINS EMERGENCY ASSET FREEZE TO HALT FRAUDULENT SCHEME BY INVESTMENT ADVISER CHRISTOPHER T. VULLIEZ AND HIS FIRM, AMPHOR ADVISORS, LLC
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that on Friday it charged Christopher T. Vulliez, age 38 and resident of New York, New York, and his company, Amphor Advisors, LLC. with securities fraud and obtained an emergency court order to freeze his assets and halt a fraudulent investment scheme.
The Commission's complaint, filed in the Southern District of New York, alleges that, between March 2010 and January 2011, Vulliez and Amphor misappropriated at least $700,000 from his closest family and friends. According to the complaint, Vulliez made false and misleading statements to his clients that he would invest their funds in a biotech company. Instead, he and Amphor misappropriated the funds. The complaint alleges that Vulliez solicited family members and friends to invest in the biotech company through an investment vehicle managed by Amphor and that he claimed that he was making substantial personal investments alongside his investors. The complaint charges that Vulliez never invested the money that his friends and family members entrusted to him and did not make the personal investments alongside them as represented. Instead of investing his clients’ funds as he promised, Vulliez diverted them to other purposes.
The Complaint charges Vulliez and Amphor with violating 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 Sections 206(1), 206(2) and 206(4) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and Rule 206(4)-8 thereunder.
Judge Richard M. Berman of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York issued a temporary restraining order, which prohibits Vulliez and Amphor from committing further violations of the federal securities laws and places a freeze on their assets. In its enforcement action, the Commission is seeking additional relief, including orders enjoining Vulliez and Amphor, preliminarily and permanently, from committing future violations of the foregoing federal securities laws, and a final judgment ordering Vulliez and Amphor to disgorge their ill-gotten gains plus prejudgment interest, and assessing civil penalties against them.