U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 22827 / September 30, 2013
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Jenny E. Coplan, Civil Action No. 0:13-CV-62127 (S.D. Fla., filed Sep. 30, 2012)
SEC Charges South Florida Resident in Ponzi Scheme Targeting Colombian-American Community
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a South Florida resident with conducting a Ponzi scheme and affinity fraud that targeted the Colombian-American community, among others. The SEC alleges that Jenny E. Coplan raised approximately $4 million from more than 90 investors, many of whom were Colombian-Americans and Colombians, primarily living in Florida but also in California, Georgia, Texas, Canada, and Colombia. The SEC alleges that Coplan actively solicited investors through personal discussions with individuals both over the phone and in person. According to the SEC's complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Coplan falsely told investors that her company Immigration General Services, LLC operated through an investment broker that would invest funds in immigration bail bonds. Further, Coplan promised investors interest payments ranging from 60 to 108 percent annually and falsely told prospective investors this was a safe investment and their money was FDIC insured. According to the complaint, Coplan never placed investors' funds with an investment broker to make a profit. Instead, the SEC alleges that Coplan, to conceal her unlawful conduct, paid purported profits to earlier investors using funds from newer investors in classic Ponzi scheme fashion and misappropriated approximately $878,000 of investors' funds for her own personal use.
In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida today announced criminal charges against Coplan.
According to the SEC's complaint, Coplan conducted the scheme from at least January 2009 to October 2011. Coplan, who resides in Tamarac, Florida, and her company Immigration Services have never been registered with the SEC to offer securities.
The SEC further alleges that Coplan created fictitious investor statements that were sent to investors to hide Coplan's misuse of investor money and lead investors to believe their investments were growing. The SEC's complaint charges Coplan with violating Sections 5(a), 5(c) and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The SEC's complaint also charges Coplan with violations of Section 15(a) of the Exchange Act. The SEC's complaint seeks disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, financial penalties, and injunctive relief against Coplan to enjoin her from future violations of the federal securities laws.
The SEC's investigation was conducted in the Miami Regional Office by Senior Counsel Jorge L. Riera and Accountant Karaz S. Zaki under the supervision of Assistant Regional Director Elisha L. Frank. Amie Riggle Berlin will lead the SEC's litigation. The SEC acknowledges the assistance and cooperation of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.