SEC Charges Purported Hedge Fund Manager with Fraud
Litigation Release No. 24938 / September 30, 2020
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Rand Heckler and Rand Heckler, Inc., No. 20-civ-4654 (E.D.N.Y. filed September 30, 2020)
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a Long Island, New York man and his wholly-owned company with defrauding investors by falsely claiming to manage a successful hedge fund.
According to the SEC's complaint, since at least 2015, Rand Heckler, a former broker who was barred by FINRA in 2019, solicited over $700,000 in investments from an elderly investor and the investor's son by claiming to manage a successful hedge fund through his company, Rand Heckler, Inc. The complaint alleges that, in reality, Heckler and Rand Heckler, Inc. never managed a hedge fund and never invested the funds he received. Instead, Heckler allegedly misappropriated most of these funds to pay for his personal expenses, including mortgage payments, car payments and a country club membership. Further, Heckler allegedly sought to conceal his scheme by, among other things, sending allegedly phony account statements and trade confirmations to the investor and his son. According to the complaint, when the investor's son sought to redeem part of his father's investments, Heckler solicited a new $100,000 investment from a different investor and persuaded the new investor to transfer the money to a bank account that she believed belonged to an investment firm, but in fact belonged to the first investor.
The SEC's Office of Investor Education and Advocacy has a dedicated investor education webpage for seniors on Investor.gov. The webpage includes Investor Alerts and a guide for seniors to protect themselves against investment fraud.
In a parallel action, the Nassau County District Attorney's Office announced criminal charges against Heckler.
The SEC's complaint, filed in federal district court in Brooklyn, New York, charges Heckler and Rand Heckler, Inc. with violating the antifraud provisions of 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 Sections 206(1), 206(2) and 206(4) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and Rule 206(4)-8(a) thereunder. The SEC seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement, and penalties against Heckler and Rand Heckler, Inc.
The SEC's investigation was conducted by John Lehmann, Neil Hendelman and Vanessa De Simone, and the litigation will be led by Alexander M. Vasilescu and Mr. Lehmann. The case is being supervised by Sanjay Wadhwa. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the Nassau County District Attorney's Office.