SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 17286 / December 20, 2001
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Dunyasha M. Yetts, Worldwide Financial Group, Inc, World Wide Sports Group, Inc. and Gordon Yocom, Civ. Act. No. C2-01-1263 (S.D. Ohio).
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Dunyasha M. Yetts, Adv. Proc. No. 01-0441 (In re: Dunyasha M. Yetts, Case No. 01-58883 (Chapter 7) (S.D. Ohio)).
SEC CHARGES OHIO MAN WITH DEFRAUDING INVESTORS AND OPERATING UNREGISTERED BROKERAGE; SEC ALSO ACTS TO PREVENT BANKRUPTCY DISCHARGE
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that today it filed a civil injunctive action in federal district court in Columbus, Ohio accusing Dunyasha M. Yetts and his unregistered broker-dealer, Worldwide Financial Group, Inc., of defrauding at least fourteen investors of approximately $1.8 million from 1998 through early 2001. In a related action, the Commission also today filed a separate complaint in United States Bankruptcy Court in Columbus, Ohio, where Yetts is a debtor, seeking to prevent the discharge of a substantial portion of Yetts' indebtedness, approximately $1.8 million, incurred through securities fraud.
The Commission's district court complaint names:
- Dunyasha M. Yetts, a.k.a. Danyasha M. Yetts, 31, of Dublin, Ohio. Yetts solicited investors using his own name and the name of Worldwide Financial Group, an unregistered broker-dealer.
- Worldwide Financial Group, Inc., an Ohio corporation that Yetts operated from his home. Yetts used Worldwide Financial to solicit investor funds from about March 1999 through early 2001.
- World Wide Sports Group, Inc., an Ohio corporation that Yetts used to operate his sports agency business.
- Gordon L. Yocom, 33, of Powell, Ohio, a former business associate of Yetts.
The Fraudulent Conduct
According to the Commission's complaint in district court:
Yetts defrauded at least 14 customers of approximately $1.8 million in investment schemes that continued from 1998 through early 2001. Conducting business individually and later through Worldwide Financial, Yetts fraudulently induced customers to entrust him with funds by falsely representing that he would invest their money in the stock market and other securities. Instead of investing those funds, Yetts misappropriated or diverted the money for other purposes, including paying personal and business expenses, making payments to earlier investors, and buying and selling securities for his own account or for other accounts he controlled, including accounts maintained in the name of his sports agency business, World Wide Sports. In an attempt to conceal his misconduct, Yetts provided customers with materially false and misleading periodic account statements that represented that Worldwide Financial had bought and sold specific securities for their account. When various customers demanded the return of their funds, Yetts falsely claimed that he had transferred their funds (unbeknownst to them) to a supposed money management firm in California, and that he was unable to retrieve their money. Through his fraudulent conduct, Yetts exploited inexperienced and financially unsophisticated customers who relied on Yetts's purported superior knowledge and expertise.
The Commission's district court complaint charges that Yetts and Worldwide Financial acted as unregistered securities broker-dealers in violation of Section 15(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") and that both Yetts and Worldwide Financial defrauded customers in violation of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933; Sections 10(b) and 15(c) of the Exchange Act and Exchange Act Rules 10b-3, 10b-5 and 15c1-2. The district court complaint further alleges that, as a control person of Worldwide Financial, Yetts is also individually liable for all of that firms' misconduct.
The district court complaint does not charge Gordon L. Yocom or World Wide Sports Group with substantive violations of the federal securities laws. Rather, because Yocom and World Wide Sports each received investor funds as a result of Yetts' misconduct, Yocom and World Wide Sports are liable as relief defendants for the return of those monies.