U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 23444 / January 11, 2016
United States v. Roger Stanley Bliss, et al., No. 15-484 (D. Utah)
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Roger S. Bliss, Civil Action No. 2:15-CV-0098 (D. Utah)
Alleged Investment Club Fraudster Sentenced to a Year and a Day in Federal Prison for Obstructing SEC Case Against Him
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that on January 11, 2016, Roger S. Bliss was sentenced to a year and a day in prison after pleading guilty to charges that he lied and obstructed justice in connection with an asset freeze the Commission obtained against him in federal court. The sentence is to be served consecutive to any sentence imposed in a related state criminal matter. Bliss will also be on probation for 24 months after completing his prison term.
In a complaint filed in federal court in Utah in February 2015, the SEC alleged that Bliss operated an investment club that falsely promised returns in excess of 100 percent by day-trading Apple stock. In reality, Bliss lost more than $3 million day-trading and failed to use all of the investor funds for his stated purpose of day-trading. At the SEC's request, the court imposed an asset freeze against Bliss.
The SEC thereafter learned that Bliss concealed his ownership of a catamaran sailboat and secretly transferred possession to his brother-in-law, Kevin Fortney. After the SEC moved for civil contempt against Bliss for violating the asset freeze, both Bliss and his brother-in-law, who was not charged in the SEC's enforcement action against Bliss, filed sworn declarations that the sailboat was owned by the brother-in-law and not by Bliss. In an order issued on August 14, the court found Bliss in contempt of the asset freeze order and referred the matter to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Utah for potential criminal charges and, in August 2015, a grand jury indicted Bliss. Bliss subsequently pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and false declaration before a Court of the United States which resulted in this sentence.