U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 21547 / June 3, 2010
U.S. v. Anthony A. James, Criminal Action No. 08-20674 (E.D. Mi.)
SEC v. Anthony A. James and James Asset Advisory, L.L.C., Civil Action No. 08-6156 (S.D. Fla.)
ANTHONY JAMES CONVICTED OF MAIL AND WIRE FRAUD RELATING TO MULTIMILLION DOLLAR MISAPPROPRIATION AND PONZI SCHEME
The Securities and Exchange Commission ("Commission") announced today that on April 15, 2010, after a three day jury trial prosecuted by the United States Attorney's Office in Detroit, Michigan, Anthony A. James, an investment adviser from Parkland, Florida, was convicted of seven counts of mail fraud, six counts of wire fraud, and one count of theft or embezzlement from an employee benefit plan in connection with his multi-million dollar misappropriation of client funds. Sentencing is scheduled for August 17, 2010. James faces a maximum sentence of 22 years in prison and up to several million dollars in restitution.
The Commission previously filed a civil injunctive action against James and his investment advisory firm, James Asset Advisory LLC ("James Asset") based on similar conduct. According to the Commission's complaint, from at least April 2001 through January 2008, James and James Asset received at least $5.2 million from 44 clients whom they misled into believing their funds would be invested in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. However, James never invested any client funds. Instead, the complaint alleged, James misappropriated almost $2.4 million to fund personal expenses, including the purchase of a six-bedroom, 5,000 square foot home, a luxury condominium, a Porsche sports car, and season tickets to the Miami Heat games.
On March 23, 2009, the Honorable Cecilia M. Altonaga, United States District Judge for the Southern District of Florida, entered a final judgment ordering Anthony A. James to pay $2,390,487.45 in disgorgement, plus prejudgment interest of $84,620.10 and a $130,000 civil penalty in connection with his scheme to misappropriate client funds and operate a Ponzi scheme. Previously, the Commission dismissed, with prejudice, its claims for disgorgement, prejudgment interest and a civil penalty against James Asset because the company is defunct and had no assets from which a judgment could be collected.
For further information, please see Litigation Release No. 20741 (Sept. 25, 2008), Litigation Release No. 20842 (Jan. 6, 2009), and Litigation Release No. 20966 (Mar. 23, 2009).