SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
LITIGATION RELEASE NO. 22124 / OCTOBER 12, 2011
SEC v. Jerry L. Aubrey, Timothy J. Aubrey, Brian S. Cherry, and Aaron M. Glasser, Civil Action No. SACV 11-1564 JVS (RNBx) (C.D. Cal.)
SEC CHARGES MASTERMIND OF $11 MILLION PONZI SCHEME
On October 11, 2011, the Securities and Exchange Commission ("Commission") filed a complaint alleging that Jerry L. Aubrey used his now-defunct company Progressive Energy Partners, LLC ("PEP") to contact investors through cold calls and high-pressure sales tactics. PEP salespeople falsely claimed that investors' money would be used to develop and support oil and gas wells in West Virginia. Investors were misled to believe they could expect annual returns of greater than 50 percent. The Commission also charged Jerry Aubrey's brother and two PEP salesmen in its complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Orange County, California.
The Commission's complaint alleges that PEP never engaged in any profitable business operations. Instead, from approximately 2005 to April 2010, Jerry Aubrey paid existing investors with money raised from new investors.
The Commission's complaint also alleges that Jerry Aubrey and his brother Timothy J. Aubrey diverted more than $3.2 million of investor funds for their personal use, including:
According to the Commission's complaint, Jerry and Timothy Aubrey and PEP salesmen Brian S. Cherry and Aaron M. Glasser failed to inform investors that up to 35 percent of their money would be used to pay sales commissions. Jerry Aubrey paid more than $2.2 million in commissions to PEP salespeople. Glasser received nearly $750,000 and Cherry received more than $300,000. Jerry Aubrey is currently serving a five-year sentence in Florida state prison for a securities fraud he perpetrated in Florida.
The Commission's complaint charges all defendants with violations of Sections 5(a), 5(c), and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, and Sections 10(b) and 15(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and also charges Jerry Aubrey with aiding and abetting his company's Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5 violations. The Commission also seeks permanent injunctions against all defendants and a conduct based injunction against Jerry Aubrey prohibiting him or any entity he owns or controls from offering unregistered securities in the future. In addition, the Commission seeks disgorgement plus prejudgment interest and civil penalties against Timothy Aubrey, Cherry, and Glasser.