SEC Charges Former Minneapolis-Area Investment Adviser with Fraud for Misappropriating Client Funds

Litigation Release No. 25026 / February 9, 2021

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Isaiah L. Goodman, No. 21-cv-00365 (D. Minn. filed February 8, 2021)

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged former Minneapolis-area investment adviser Isaiah L. Goodman for allegedly defrauding his advisory clients out of approximately $2.25 million.

According to the SEC's complaint, from at least September 2018 to November 2020, Goodman, doing business through Becoming Financial Advisory Services, LLC, stole more than $2.25 million from at least 20 advisory clients. As alleged, Goodman falsely represented to these clients that he would invest their money in securities, including mutual funds and stocks for their retirement and investment accounts. Instead, Goodman allegedly misappropriated their money by using it for his own personal and business expenses, including home renovation and building expenses, car payments, and vacations. Goodman allegedly furthered the fraud by providing his clients with fake account statements and computer screenshots purporting to show that their funds were appropriately invested and their accounts had appreciated in value, and by making Ponzi-like payments to certain clients.

The SEC's complaint, filed in federal district court in Minnesota, charges Goodman 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) and 206(2) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, and seeks injunctive relief, disgorgement with pre-judgment interest, and civil penalties. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Minnesota filed criminal charges against Goodman on February 8, 2021 in a parallel action.

The SEC's investigation was conducted by Devlin N. Su, and supervised by Amy Flaherty Hartman in the Chicago Regional Office. The SEC's litigation is being led by Timothy Stockwell. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Commerce.