U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 22804 / September 20, 2013
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Jenifer E. Hoffman, John C. Boschert, and Bryan T. Zuzga, Civil Action No. 5:13-cv-00455 (U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida)
The Securities and Exchange Commission ("Commission") has charged Jenifer E. Hoffman and John C. Boschert, the former principals of Assured Capital Consultants, LLC - a now-dissolved Florida company - and Bryan T. Zuzga, the company's purported escrow agent, for their involvement in a fraudulent prime bank offering and Ponzi scheme.
According to the Commission's complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, between approximately January and September 2009, Assured Capital, through Hoffman, Boschert, and Zuzga, raised at least $25 million from investors, through false representations and fake documents. The complaint alleges that Hoffman and Boschert represented to investors that their money would be invested in Assured Capital's offshore, confidential trading program which, in turn, would invest in blocks of medium term notes. As the complaint further alleges, Hoffman and Boschert enticed investors with claims of exorbitant profits and with the illusion of safety by telling them that the investment would provide weekly returns of up to 50% and that it was performing, safe, and guaranteed. In addition, Hoffman and Boschert represented to investors their money would remain safe in an Assured Capital escrow account that would be used to secure a line of credit for investing in the company's offshore trading program. Furthermore, Hoffman, Boschert, and Zuzga told investors that Zuzga controlled the escrow account as Assured Capital's escrow agent and that he was a licensed attorney. Moreover, Hoffman provided investors with fake bank documents and a sham verification letter, notarized by Zuzga, purporting to confirm Assured Capital had $500 million at a Panamanian bank.
As the complaint alleges, none of these representations were true and the investment program was purely fictional. Zuzga was not Assured Capital's escrow agent and has never been a licensed attorney. Hoffman and Boschert used investor funds to make payments to other investors in Ponzi fashion, and stole investor funds along with Zuzga for their personal use. Assured Capital has since gone out of business.
The Commission's complaint alleges that Hoffman of Clermont, Florida, Boschert of Apopka, Florida, and Zuzga of Coldwater, Michigan, all violated 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. The Commission is seeking financial penalties, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains plus prejudgment interest, and permanent injunctions against all the defendants.