SEC Charges Founder of Purported Investment Firm with Orchestrating $2.95 Million Offering Fraud
Litigation Release No. 24944 / October 13, 2020
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Alexander Rowland, No. 20-cv-5075 filed October 13, 2020
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged New Jersey resident Alexander Rowland with the fraudulent offer and sale of approximately $2.95 million of securities to approximately 122 investors through his company, Roaring Investments, Inc.
According to the SEC's complaint, Rowland formed Roaring Investments as a purported investment company and served as its President and CEO. The complaint alleges that Rowland induced investors to purchase securities by falsely claiming that he was an experienced and licensed trader, and that he would use their funds to invest in a variety of securities and currency products. Rowland also allegedly guaranteed potential investors returns ranging from 20% within weeks to 140% within one year. As alleged, a number of investors liquidated retirement accounts or obtained home equity loans to invest with Rowland based on his false claims. The complaint further alleges that Rowland provided existing investors phony account updates to convince them to reinvest rather than cash out their investments. Rowland allegedly invested only a fraction of investor proceeds as promised, and used the majority of investors' funds for personal expenses and to make Ponzi-like payments to earlier investors.
The SEC's complaint, filed in federal court in Philadelphia, charges Rowland with violating the antifraud provisions of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The SEC seeks injunctive relief, the disgorgement of ill-gotten gains with prejudgment interest, and civil penalties.
In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania today announced the filing of criminal charges against Rowland.
The SEC's investigation was conducted by Jennifer Miller with the assistance of Karen M. Klotz, and was supervised by Kingdon Kase and Kelly L. Gibson in the Philadelphia Regional Office. The litigation will be led by Ms. Klotz and supervised by Jennifer Chun Barry. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service.