SEC Obtains Final Judgment Against North Carolina Investment Adviser

Litigation Release No. 24965 / November 19, 2020

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Richard W. Davis, Jr., et al., Civil Action No. 16cv00285 (W.D.N.C.)

On November 17, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina entered a final judgment as to monetary relief against Richard W. Davis, whom the SEC previously charged in connection with a scheme to defraud advisory clients and misappropriate investment funds.

According to the SEC's complaint, filed June 2, 2016, Davis solicited investments through the unregistered sale of securities in two unregistered hedge funds for which he acted as fund manager. The complaint alleges that Davis misrepresented to investors he would invest their money in assets such as real estate or mineral rights, but instead caused the funds to engage in undisclosed transactions with companies that he owned and then continued to misrepresent to investors that their investments were growing, despite actually suffering losses. According to the complaint, Davis also misappropriated a large part of the money he raised from investors for his own personal use.

Davis previously agreed to a bifurcated settlement that left determination of any monetary remedies against him to the court. Separately, Davis agreed to a permanent securities industry bar.

The court's final judgment finds Davis liable for disgorgement and prejudgment interest of $653,904. In light of his conviction and sentence to a 90-month prison term in a parallel criminal case, the SEC dismissed its claim for a civil penalty, thereby concluding this matter in full.

The SEC's litigation was led by Patrick R. Costello and supervised by Frederick L. Block. Christopher Mathews, supervised by J. Lee Buck, of the SEC's Enforcement Division assisted in the litigation.

The SEC's Retail Strategy Task Force and Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) encourage investors to check the background of anyone selling or offering them an investment using the free and simple search tool on Investor.gov.