SEC Halts Scheme by Trio Accused of Stealing Investor Money While Promising “Indestructible Wealth”
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced fraud charges and an asset freeze obtained to halt an ongoing real estate investment scheme being conducted by a trio of business associates in California accused of stealing investors’ money while promising them “indestructible wealth.”
The SEC alleges that Paul Ricky Mata, David Kayatta, and Mario Pincheira stole investor proceeds for their own use and diverted money to unrelated businesses. They raised more than $14 million from more than 100 investors in California and several other states for two unregistered funds purporting to invest in real estate. Online videos posted to Mata’s website and YouTube channel helped attract investors to attend investment seminars with such titles as “Finances God’s Way” or “Indestructible Wealth” where they encouraged many retirees to sell their existing securities holdings and invest in the funds, which falsely guaranteed promising returns. The funds have never actually made a profit.
According to the SEC’s complaint unsealed today in federal court in Riverside County, Calif., a website managed by Mata is advertising plans to offer a three-day “Indestructible Wealth Bootcamp” in Los Angeles next month, prompting the SEC’s intervention before they could scam additional investors. The asset freeze and preliminary injunction granted to the SEC by the court prohibits Mata, Kayatta, and Pincheira from soliciting further investments or spending additional investor money.
“We allege that under the guise of investment seminars with buoyant slogans, these men enticed investors into investing in purported real estate funds that are nothing more than piggy banks for their personal expenses and unrelated businesses,” said Lorraine B. Echavarria, Associate Director of the SEC’s Los Angeles Regional Office.
According to the SEC’s complaint filed under seal on September 2:
- Mata is a former licensed securities professional with an extensive disciplinary history that was concealed from investors, who only heard about Mata’s “22 years of experience as a financial advisor.”
- Mata and Kayatta promised guaranteed returns for one fund despite having been sanctioned by a state regulator for making guarantees.
- They diluted the value of investments of the other fund by allowing in new investors despite being questioned by their accountant and attorney about doing so.
- They lulled existing investors with false assurances that both funds were performing well despite encumbering the funds’ few assets.
- Mata, Kayatta, and Pincheira charged their personal dinners, travel, entertainment, and other items on Pincheira’s personal American Express card and used investor money to pay off the card balances, which routinely exceed $40,000 a month.
The SEC’s complaint charges Mata, Kayatta, and Pincheira with violating the antifraud provisions of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5. Mata, Kayatta, and their companies Secured Capital Investments LLC and Logos Real Estate Holdings LLC are charged with violating the securities registration provisions of Section 5(a) and 5(c) of the Securities Act. Mata and his companies Logos Wealth Advisors Inc. and Lifetime Enterprises LLC are charged with violating Sections 206(1) and (2) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. The SEC is seeking financial penalties and disgorgement of ill-gotten gains as well as permanent injunctive relief.
The SEC’s investigation was conducted by Brent W. Wilner and supervised by Diana Tani of the Los Angeles office. The SEC’s litigation is being led by Lynn M. Dean. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the California Department of Business Oversight.