Update: The court has appointed Keith Miles Aurzada at Bryan Cave LLP as receiver over Stewardship Fund LP and other entities. Investors who wish to make claims or have questions about the receivership process can contact Mr. Aurzada at 214-721-8000.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C., Oct. 18, 2011 – The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that it has obtained an emergency court order to freeze the assets of a Texas resident and his company charged with falsely telling investors he was using their money to buy and restructure pools of non-performing home mortgages in the wake of the housing market’s decline.
The SEC alleges that James G. “Jay” Temme and Stewardship Fund LP raised at least $35 million since 2008 from various investor groups. To lure those investors, Temme developed relationships with people and entities who “vouched” for Temme, including an investment adviser representative with a major investment bank’s private wealth management group and a Texas-based public company that provides mortgage restructuring services. Investors and their advisers, including the bank representative, were told by Temme that he was using the investors’ money to purchase “tapes” of non-performing mortgages from mortgage lenders at a discount and then paying returns based on principal and interest payments he collected from the homeowners, or based on the resale of the mortgages or underlying properties. In several instances, however, Temme was claiming to own mortgages he had never acquired or purporting to transfer the same pool of mortgages to multiple sets of investors. To carry out his scheme, Temme created false documents, made unauthorized financial transactions, and used new investor funds to pay off earlier investors.
“Temme took advantage of investors who believed their investments were helping homeowners restructure their mortgages,” said David Woodcock, Director of the SEC’s Fort Worth Regional Office. “In many instances, it appears Temme was just pocketing the investments and using the proceeds for his own illicit purposes.”
According to the SEC’s complaint unsealed by the judge today in federal court in the Eastern District of Texas, Temme has been the subject of at least one state court asset freeze and various private lawsuits by different investor groups. However, rather than stopping his scheme, Temme ignored the asset freezes, opened new bank accounts, and raised money from new investors to settle suits filed by earlier investors.
The SEC’s complaint charges, among other things, that the defendants violated the anti-fraud provisions of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. In addition to emergency and interim relief that has been obtained, the SEC seeks a preliminary injunction and a final judgment permanently enjoining the defendants from future violations of the relevant provisions of the federal securities laws and ordering them to pay financial penalties and disgorgement of ill-gotten gains with prejudgment interest.
The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Michael H. Schneider. The court has scheduled a hearing on the Commission’s motions to appoint a receiver and for a preliminary injunction for Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011, at 2 p.m. CT before U.S. Magistrate Judge Amos L. Mazzant at the U.S. Courthouse in Sherman, Texas.
Jonathan Scott, Michael Jackman and Ty Martinez of the Fort Worth Regional Office are conducting the SEC’s investigation, and trial attorney David Reece will lead the litigation. The SEC’s investigation is continuing.
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For more information about this enforcement action, contact:
David Woodcock, Regional Director