U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 22876 / November 21, 2013
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Snisky, Civil Action No. 13-CV-03149 (D. Colo., filed November 21, 2013)
SEC Charges Gary C. Snisky with Offering Fraud
The Securities and Exchange Commission (Commission) filed a civil injunctive action on November 21, 2013, in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado against Gary C. Snisky of Longmont, Colorado. The Commission alleges that Snisky recruited and trained a sales force that raised at least $3.8 million from more than 40 elderly investors in Colorado and seven other states by promising guaranteed returns and safety of principal through a purported investment in government secured bonds.
The Commission's complaint alleges that Snisky and his sales force targeted mostly elderly, annuity-holding investors to purchase interests in Arete, LLC, a purportedly safe alternative to an annuity that also allowed for withdrawal of principal. Additionally, the complaint alleges that Snisky and his salespeople represented to investors that Arete provided a guaranteed annual return of 6% to 7%, a 10% bonus to compensate for any annuity withdrawal penalties, and that investor funds would be placed in bonds backed by the "full faith and credit" of the United States Government. These representations, however, were false, as Snisky misappropriated approximately $2.8 million in investor funds, mostly in cash withdrawals, and used these funds to pay commissions to his salespeople and for his personal use.
The Commission's complaint alleges that Snisky violated the antifraud provisions of the securities laws, Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and Sections 206(1), (2), and (4) of the Advisers Act of 1940 and Rule 206(4)-8 thereunder; violated the unregistered broker-dealer provisions of the securities laws in Section 15(a) of the Exchange Act; violated the security registration provisions of the securities laws in Sections 5(a) and (c) of the Securities Act; and aided and abetted Arete's failure to register as an investment company under Section 7(a) of the Investment Company Act of 1940. The Commission's complaint seeks a permanent injunction, disgorgement plus prejudgment interest, a civil monetary penalty, and other relief against Snisky.
The Commission's investigation was conducted in the Denver Regional Office by John C. Martin, Kerry M. Matticks and James A. Scoggins. Polly A. Atkinson will lead the Commission's litigation. The SEC acknowledges the assistance of the U.S. Attorney's Office, the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the District of Colorado. The SEC's investigation is continuing.