U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 23967 / October 11, 2017
Securities and Exchange Commission v. JustInfo, et al., No. 2:17-cv-07426 (C.D. Cal. filed Oct. 11, 2017)
SEC Files Charges in Futures Trading Scheme
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced fraud charges against a Kentucky-based entity, a California-based tax preparer who solicited investors on behalf of the entity, and the entity's majority owner, for lying to investors in a futures trading scheme.
According to the SEC's complaint, JustInfo LLC pooled investor funds for the ostensible purpose of trading futures contracts. The complaint alleges that David Weddle, the majority owner of JustInfo, and Scott Allensworth, doing business as Capital Growth Group Associates, raised at least $2.84 million from at least 57 investors by selling investment contracts. The complaint further alleges that throughout the period of the offering, Weddle and Allensworth stole at least $1 million for their own use and to make payments of purported returns to prior investors in classic Ponzi-fashion. Weddle allegedly created false trading reports, which Allensworth sent to investors, to cover up JustInfo's trading losses and maintain the appearance that the investment was profitable.
The SEC's complaint, filed on October 11, 2017 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, charges JustInfo, Weddle, and Allensworth with violations of 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. Without admitting or denying the allegations in the SEC's complaint, JustInfo and Weddle consented to the entry of final judgments permanently enjoining them from violating the charged sections of the federal securities laws, ordering JustInfo and Weddle to pay $388,322.34 in disgorgement and interest, for which they will be jointly and severally liable, and imposing civil penalties on Weddle and JustInfo of $373,037 and $905,353, respectively. The SEC is litigating against Allensworth.
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced a parallel action against Scott Allensworth d/b/a Capital Growth Group Associates and Cobra Development Group LLP, Robert J. Fusco, David Weddle, and E-Slate, Inc. d/b/a Cobra Development Group LLP.
The SEC's investigation was conducted by Sana Muttalib and Christopher Conte, and was supervised by Spencer E. Bendell. The SEC litigation against Allensworth will be handled by Kristin Escalate. The SEC appreciates the CFTC's cooperation in this matter.