U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 23886 / July 26, 2017
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Anthony Joseph Marino, George Frank Polera, and United Business Alliance, LLC, No. 2:17-cv-02017 (D. Nev. July 25, 2017)
SEC Charges Two Las Vegas-based Individuals and Their Company with Participation in a "Prime Bank" Fraud Scheme
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced fraud charges against two Las Vegas-based individuals and their company for operating a prime bank investment scheme that promised investors sky-high returns.
The SEC's complaint, filed in federal district court in Las Vegas, Nevada, alleges that, between October 2013 and July 2015, Anthony Joseph Marino and George Frank Polera, operating through United Business Alliance, LLC (UBA), engaged in a fraudulent "prime bank" scheme. The defendants allegedly raised a total of $615,500 from 10 investors. According to the complaint, Marino, Polera, and UBA promised investors outsized rates of return, including 84% per year on a note and 90% every two weeks on for 40 weeks on another investment. Prime bank instruments are fictitious. The SEC's complaint alleges that investor funds were used to make Ponzi-type payments to other investors and misappropriated by Marino, Polera, and their affiliated entities. Of the $615,500 allegedly raised, approximately $253,500 was subsequently returned.
According to the SEC's complaint, neither Marino nor Polera were registered to sell investments. The SEC encourages investors to check the background of anyone offering to sell them investments by doing a quick search on the SEC's investor.gov website.
The SEC's complaint charges Marino, Polera, and UBA with violating Section 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 complaint also charges Marino and Polera with aiding and abetting UBA's primary violations. The SEC seeks permanent injunctions, a conduct-based injunction against Marino, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains plus prejudgment interest thereon, and civil penalties.
The SEC's investigation was conducted by James Thibodeau of the Salt Lake Regional Office, and its litigation will be led by Daniel Wadley and Amy Oliver.