SEC Obtains Final Judgment Against Investment Adviser and His Companies for Defrauding Clients
Litigation Release No. 24103 / April 5, 2018
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Ikenna Ikokwu, et al., Civil Action No. 16-cv-01950 (D.D.C. filed Sept. 30, 2016)
On April 2, 2018, a federal district court in Washington, D.C. entered final judgments against a Georgia-based investment adviser, Ikenna "Ike" Ikokwu, and his companies Winning the Money Game with Ike, Inc., and Winning the Money Game, LLC, all of which the SEC charged with fraud.
In its complaint, filed on September 30, 2016, the SEC alleged that Ikokwu persuaded more than 20 clients of his companies to collectively invest $5 million in securities issued by FutureGen Company. The SEC previously charged FutureGen and its principal, Lawrence P. Schmidt, with defrauding investors. The complaint against Ikokwu and his companies further alleged that in exchange for persuading clients to invest in FutureGen, Ikokwu received undisclosed "kickbacks" of over $100,000 from FutureGen. He also allegedly told investors that he conducted extensive due diligence into FutureGen prior to making his recommendation, when, in reality, he did little or no research on the company. In addition, the complaint alleged that Ikokwu falsely touted the performance of his own family's investments with Schmidt to clients.
The court entered the final judgment, by consent, against Ikokwu and his companies, ordering them to pay disgorgement of $169,311.64 plus prejudgment interest of $6,869.93. The court ordered Ikokwu to pay a civil penalty of $80,000. The final judgment also enjoins Ikokwu and Winning the Money Game with Ike, Inc. from violating Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 ("Securities Act"), Sections 10(b) and 15(a)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 ("Advisers Act"). The court enjoined Winning the Money Game, LLC from violating Section 17(a) of the Securities Act, Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Advisers Act. Based on the entry of the judgment, the SEC barred Ikokwu and Winning the Money Game with Ike, Inc., by consent, from the securities industry with a right to reapply after 5 years.
On April 3, 2018, the court separately entered an order approving a settlement agreement between the receiver appointed to administer the assets of FutureGen and Ikokwu, under which Ikokwu agreed to repay an additional $64,796.43 for distribution back to injured investors.