SEC Charges Wyoming Man for Offering Fraud Targeting Elderly Ministry Members

Litigation Release No. 24211 / July 19, 2018

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Edward A. Young and Guardians Trustee, LLC, No. 2:18-cv-00115-SWS (D. Wyo. filed July 11, 2018)

On July 11, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged a Wyoming company and its principal for an offering fraud targeting primarily elderly Asian-American and Asian members of an online Christian ministry.

The SEC's complaint, filed in the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming, alleges that, between November 2016 and February 2018, Edward A. Young and his wholly-owned entity, Guardians Trustee, LLC, fraudulently raised money from members of an online ministry by promising returns of 400% through operation of a purported private banking facility, but actually misappropriated investor funds to pay for Young's personal expenses, another individual's child support, and start-up costs for an unrelated entity. The complaint also alleges that Young and Guardians Trustee falsely told investors that their funds were indemnified against loss, and failed to disclose prior orders against Young for securities fraud and criminal theft. The investors lost all of the money they invested.

The SEC's complaint charges Young and Guardians Trustee 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, Young and Guardians Trustee have agreed to pay, jointly and severally, disgorgement of $170,000 and prejudgment interest of $9,253, and to be enjoined from future securities laws violations. Young has also agreed to be enjoined from participating in the issuance, purchase, offer, or sale of any securities, other than trading in his personal account. The District Court approved the settlement on July 17, 2018.

The SEC's investigation was conducted by Ty J. Cottrill and supervised by Laura M. Metcalfe and Kurt L. Gottschall of the Denver Regional Office. The litigation will be handled by Danielle Voorhees.