SEC Obtains Judgment Against Colorado Ponzi Scheme Operator
Litigation Release No. 24946 / October 16, 2020
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Rudden, et al., No. 18-cv-01842 (D. Colo.)
On October 15, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado entered a final consent judgment against Daniel B. Rudden and his companies for running a years-long Ponzi scheme.
The SEC's complaint, filed on July 19, 2018, alleged that Rudden and a group of companies operating under the name Financial Visions defrauded more than 100 investors after promising them annual returns of 12% or more. Since at least 2010 or 2011, Rudden allegedly used new investor funds to pay interest and redemptions to existing investors and concealed the Financial Visions companies' true financial performance and condition. The complaint also alleged that Rudden continued to represent the business as successful to existing and prospective investors when he knew that he was running a Ponzi scheme. The SEC obtained an emergency freeze of Rudden's remaining assets shortly after filing its complaint.
In a parallel action, in July 2018 the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Colorado filed criminal charges against Rudden. In June 2019, Rudden was sentenced to serve 121 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution of nearly $20 million to the victims of his Ponzi scheme.
The final consent judgment in the SEC action permanently enjoins Rudden and the Financial Visions companies from 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. The judgment also orders disgorgement of $6,511,721, to be offset by the order of restitution imposed in the related criminal case, and provides that Rudden's frozen assets can be used to help satisfy that criminal restitution order.
The SEC's investigation was conducted by Marc D. Ricchiute and Michael D. Hoke of the Denver Regional Office, and was supervised by Kimberly L. Frederick and Jason J. Burt. The litigation was handled by Nicholas P. Heinke and Mark L. Williams, supervised by Gregory Kasper. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the Colorado Division of Securities and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Colorado.