SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 22354 / May 1, 2012
United States Securities and Exchange Commission v. Darlene Nelson Powell and Robert Eldridge, Civil Action No. 1:12-cv-483 (E.D.Va)
SEC Charges Two Former Investor Seminar Salespeople with Securities Law Violations
On April 30, 2012, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a settled civil injunctive action against two former salespeople in the investor seminar industry. Defendants Darlene Nelson Powell and Robert Eldridge consented to the entry of final judgments without admitting or denying the allegations of the Commission’s complaint.
The Commission’s complaint alleges that Powell and Eldridge were independent contractors for Long Term-Short Term Inc., d/b/a BetterTrades, and sold products and services to investors who wanted to learn how to trade options and other securities. The complaint alleges that Eldridge put on a live online securities trading mentoring program under the name “Daily Cash Flow Trading Lab.” According to the complaint, Eldridge made misleading statements that he was an experienced, successful securities trader and made additional misleading statements about the success of securities trading in the Daily Cash Flow Trading Lab. Based on Eldridge’s misrepresentations, the complaint alleges that customers purchased subscriptions to the trading lab and traded securities he recommended. The complaint further alleges that Powell misleadingly portrayed herself as an expert securities investor who made her living trading securities. Contrary to her representation that she became wealthy trading securities, the complaint alleges that she was not a successful securities trader. According to the complaint, Powell’s self-portrayal as a successful securities trader misled investors into believing that they too would profit trading securities if they purchased the instructional courses and other products and sold and followed the securities trading strategies she espoused. The complaint alleges that, by their conduct, the defendants violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) and Exchange Act Rule 10b-5.
Defendants Powell and Eldridge consented to final judgments enjoining them from violating the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws, and enjoining them for five years from receiving compensation from participating in securities trading seminars. Powell consented to the entry of a final judgment imposing a civil money penalty of $130,000 and ordering her to pay disgorgement of $81,036 and prejudgment interest of $21,840. Eldridge consented to a judgment that does not impose civil penalties based on his sworn representations in a Statement of Financial Condition and other documents.
The case against Powell and Eldridge is the fourth action the Commission has brought against investor seminar companies and its representatives. For further information see: