Litigation Release No. 22263 / February 21, 2012
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Verde Retirement LLC, Verde FX Nevada, LLC, Covenant Capital Partners, and Steven L. Hamilton, United States District Court for the Southern District of California, Case No. 3:12-cv-00445-DMS-BLM (S.D. Cal.) (February 21, 2012).
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced it has charged Steven L. Hamilton and Verde Retirement LLC, Verde FX Nevada, LLC, Covenant Capital Partners with securities fraud for defrauding at least 23 investors out of $1.6 million in a series of Ponzi schemes.
The SEC alleges from 2007 through February 2011, Hamilton solicited investors through the internet and via direct solicitation. The SEC’s complaint alleges that Hamilton told Covenant Capital investors they were investing in real estate loans secured by deeds of trust, told Verde Retirement investors they were investing in either real estate loans secured by deeds of trust, certificates of deposit, and told Verde FX investors they were pooling their money to invest in the construction of a new FedEx distribution facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.
According to the SEC’s complaint, Hamilton never placed any investor money in real estate loans secured by deeds of trust, certificates of deposit or a FedEx facility. Instead, Hamilton used the $1.6 million he raised to pay his personal living expenses and return capital to investors.
The SEC’s complaint alleges that Verde Retirement LLC, Verde FX Nevada, LLC, Covenant Capital Partners, and Steven Hamilton violated Sections 5(a), 5(c), and 17(a)(1), 17(a)(2), and 17(a)(3) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The SEC is seeking permanent injunctions against Verde Retirement, Verde FX, Covenant Capital, and Steven Hamilton, and disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and a civil penalty against Steven Hamilton.