U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 20768 / October 3, 2008
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Kederio Ainsworth, Guillermo Haro, Jesus Gutierrez, Gabriel Paredes, and Angel Romo, Case Number EDCV 08-1350 VAP (OPx) (C.D. Cal., filed October 3, 2008)
Commission Charges Five Registered Representatives with Fraudulent Sales of Unsuitable Securities Funded Through Subprime Mortgage Refinancings
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced the filing of an enforcement action against five World Group Securities (WGS) registered representatives, including a branch office manager, with fraudulently selling unsuitable securities, primarily variable universal life policies. Most customers who bought these securities lacked the cash or income to do so but were urged by the defendants to raise the money to pay for the purchases and subsequent monthly payments required for these products by refinancing their fixed-rate mortgages into subprime adjustable-rate negative amortization mortgages. Most customers had little formal education beyond high school, had little prior investment experience and several did not speak English fluently, if at all.
The Commission's complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, charged Kederio Ainsworth, Guillermo Haro, Jesus Gutierrez, Gabriel Paredes, and Angel Romo with violations of the antifraud provisions of the securities laws by selling unsuitable securities funded through refinancing the investors' mortgages into subprime mortgages. In making the sales, the defendants allegedly misrepresented the expected returns from the securities, the liquidity of securities, and the nature of the securities and the terms of the new mortgages while failing to disclose material facts about the products.
The Commission's complaint alleges that from 2005 through 2007, each defendant was a mortgage originator as well as a registered representative and collected compensation from the mortgage refinancing as well as the sales of securities. The defendants used a mortgage company controlled by WGS registered representatives which operated from the same office location as WGS and was supervised by the WGS branch office manager to facilitate the refinancing necessary to allow customers to purchase securities recommended by the defendants.
The Commission's complaint also alleges that the defendants falsified customer account forms and prepared order tickets that contained information they knew was inaccurate relating to the securities sales.
The Complaint seeks to enjoin the defendants from future violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, and Sections 10(b) and 17(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rules 10b-5 and 17a-3 thereunder; payment of disgorgement and prejudgment interest and the imposition of civil penalties.