SEC Charges New York Fund Manager and His Company with Securities Fraud
Litigation Release No. 25263 / November 15, 2021
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Joshua Burrell and Activated Capital, LLC, No. 21-civ-09422 (S.D.N.Y. filed November 15, 2021)
On November 15, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Joshua Burrell and his firm, Activated Capital, LLC, with securities fraud in connection with Opportunity Zone investments.
The SEC's complaint alleges that from at least February 2019 through February 2021, Burrell, through Activated, raised approximately $6.3 million from investors to invest in Opportunity Zones, a community development program established by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts of 2017. The offering materials represented that the properties would be purchased in the name of the funds in which investors had invested and that distributions to investors would come from income from the real estate. The complaint alleges that instead Burrell misappropriated investor money by using it to purchase properties in the name of entities that were not owned by the investors or the funds, and to pay purported distributions to investors. The offering materials and marketing materials also misrepresented that the fund would have an outside custodian and that the Activated principals had made significant investments into the fund. Finally, Burrell also misappropriated approximately $100,000 of investor funds, including $56,000 which he falsely characterized as "property improvement" expenses.
The SEC's complaint, filed in federal court in New York, charges Burrell and Activated with violating 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's investigation was conducted by Alison Conn, Kim Han, Lindsay Moilanen, Kerri Palen, and Judith Weinstock under the supervision of Lara Shalov Mehraban. The SEC's litigation is being led by Paul Gizzi.