U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 23938 / September 20, 2017
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Ronald Van Den Heuvel, et al., No. 17-cv-1261 (E.D. Wis. filed Sept. 19, 2017)
Businessman Charged With Stealing Investor Funds for Packers Tickets
The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged a Wisconsin businessman with stealing millions of dollars of investor funds which he used to purchase a Cadillac Escalade and Green Bay Packers tickets, among other improper uses.
The SEC's complaint alleges that De Pere, Wis.-resident Ronald Van Den Heuvel lured investors with promises that he would use their funds for an eco-friendly recycling process called the "Green Box Process." According to the complaint, Van Den Heuvel told investors that he would use their funds to buy equipment, open a Green Box facility, and create a "green" solution for post-consumer waste. Van Den Heuvel allegedly raised nearly $7.6 million from at least 10 investors, including several who were participants in the U.S. government's EB-5 immigrant investor program.
Instead of using the investors' funds for the Green Box Process, the SEC alleges that Van Den Heuvel used over $3.9 million in investor funds to make unauthorized personal purchases, and pay unrelated business expenses. Aside from allegedly using investor funds to buy a Cadillac Escalade and Green Bay Packers tickets, he also used investor funds to pay overdue taxes to the State of Wisconsin and the IRS, to pay his ex-wife and mother-in-law, and to pay an outstanding judgment. Van Den Heuvel also allegedly lied about the Green Box Process in order to attract funds from investors, including by telling investors that tax-exempt bonds would provide approximately $95 million to $125 million in financing when he knew that the State of Michigan had all but denied the bond application.
The SEC's complaint, filed on September 19, 2017 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, charges Van Den Heuvel and his company, Green Box NA Detroit, LLC, with violating Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and charges Van Den Heuvel with violating Section 20(b) of the Exchange Act. The complaint seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement plus prejudgment interest, and civil penalties.
In a parallel action, on September 20, 2017, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin announced criminal charges against Van Den Heuvel.
The SEC's investigation was conducted by BeLinda Mathie, James O'Keefe, and Jean Javorski, and supervised by Steven Klawans and David Glockner of the Chicago Regional Office. The litigation will be led by Steven Seeger.