U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 23425 / December 11, 2015
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Robert Seibert, a.k.a. John Grey, Civil Action No. 2:15-cv-09331-R-DTB (C.D. Cal., filed December 2, 2015)
SEC Charges California Man with Orchestrating Fraud Scheme Targeting Senior Investors
On December 2, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Robert Seibert with operating a multi-year offering fraud that targeted elderly investors.
According to the SEC's complaint:
- Seibert, who was previously charged by the SEC in 1993 with securities fraud and who has been convicted multiple times for securities-related offenses, owned and operated a Nevada limited liability company called Universal Stock Transfer ("UST") out of Palm Desert, CA.
- Using the alias "John Grey," Seibert, who has never been registered with the SEC, together with sales agents who identified themselves as "Ron Woods" and "Sebastian Wilson," cold-called investors who ranged in age from 56 to 95 and encouraged them to buy from them a variety of stocks quoted on OTC Link, an inter-dealer quotation system for over-the-counter securities.
- Seibert and the UST agents told the elderly investors that the stocks they were selling would significantly increase in value shortly after purchase.
- As "John Grey," Seibert concealed his true name and his extensive civil and criminal disciplinary record, and the fact that neither he nor "John Grey" have ever been registered with the SEC as a broker or associated with a registered broker and neither Seibert nor "John Grey" held any of the stocks touted by UST.
- Between January 2013 and February 2015, UST, through Seibert and its sales agents, raised approximately $513,810 from at least 41 people residing in several states. Instead of using the investors' money to purchase the OTC securities, Seibert misappropriated the money, either withdrawing the money in cash or using it for personal expenses, such as restaurant, gas and hotel expenses, retail purchases, utility and insurance bills, and to make payments on outstanding child support obligations.
The SEC's complaint charges Seibert with violating Sections 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Sections 10(b) and 15(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act") and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and, in the alternative, as a control person under the Exchange Act Section 20(a) for Universal Stock Transfer's violations of Section 10(b) and 15(a) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.
The SEC seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement, civil money penalties, and other relief.
The SEC's investigation was conducted by Tamar Braz of the Los Angeles Regional Office and supervised by Marc Blau. Lynn Dean will lead the SEC's litigation.