SEC Charges Charlotte, North Carolina Investment Adviser and Its President for Not Providing Records to Examiners

Litigation Release No. 25299 / January 4, 2022

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Bóveda Asset Management, Inc. and George Kenneth Witherspoon, Jr., No. 21-cv-05321 (N.D. GA filed December 29, 2021)

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges against Bóveda Asset Management, Inc. and its President and sole owner, George Kenneth Witherspoon, Jr. of Charlotte, North Carolina, for failing to provide required books and records during a Commission examination and for other violations of the federal securities laws.

According to the SEC's complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, Georgia, SEC staff requested books and records from Bóveda and Witherspoon as part of an investment adviser examination in September 2019. Bóveda and Witherspoon have not produced the requested books and records, as required by law. The complaint further alleges that Bóveda is improperly registered with the Commission as an Internet investment adviser because it does not meet the applicable registration requirements, and does not otherwise appear to be qualified for registration with the Commission. The SEC also claims that, since January 2020, Bóveda and Witherspoon have had custody of client funds, but have failed to comply with requirements to safeguard those assets. Finally, the SEC asserts that Bóveda and Witherspoon made material misstatements and omissions in Bóveda's Forms ADV filed with the Commission between 2014 and 2021.

The SEC's complaint charges Bóveda with violating Sections 203A, 204(a) and 206(4) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, and Rule 206(4)-2 thereunder. Witherspoon is charged with aiding and abetting those violations. Bóveda and Witherspoon also are charged with violating the antifraud provisions (Sections 206(1) and 206(2)), as well as Section 207, of the Investment Advisers Act, and Witherspoon is alternatively charged with aiding and abetting Bóveda's violations of those provisions. The complaint seeks permanent injunctions from future violations of these provisions and civil monetary penalties.

The SEC's investigation was conducted by Peter J. Diskin and Taryn Hairston, under the supervision of Justin Jeffries. The litigation will be led by Robert Schroeder and supervised by M. Graham Loomis.  The examination that led to this enforcement action was conducted by Dale Perez, Murry Lott, and Caneka Hardon of the SEC's Division of Examinations, under the supervision of Deborah Shaw.