SEC Charges Four Unregistered Brokers Who Sold Sky Group Securities

Litigation Release No. 25443 / July 13, 2022

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Manuel Alvis, No. 1:22-cv-22140 (S.D. Fla. filed July 13, 2022)

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Joseph Boulos, No. 1:22-cv-22142 (S.D. Fla. filed July 13, 2022)

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Carlos Pingarron, No. 1:22-cv-22143 (S.D. Fla. filed July 13, 2022)

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Carlos Sorondo, No. 1:22-cv-22144 (S.D. Fla. filed July 13, 2022)

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges against four individuals for unlawfully selling securities of Sky Group USA, LLC, a payday loan company based in Miami, Florida. The SEC previously charged Sky Group and its owner and CEO with fraudulently raising at least $66 million through the sale of securities in the form of promissory notes to more than 500 retail investors, including many members of the South Florida Venezuelan-American community.

The SEC's complaints allege that Manuel Alvis, Joseph Boulos, Carlos Pingarron, and Carlos Sorondo, four of Sky Group's top-selling sales agents, collectively offered and sold more than $25 million in Sky Group's unregistered promissory notes to at least 346 investors. According to the complaints, the defendants marketed the promissory notes to investors. The defendants collectively earned millions of dollars in commissions on their sales, even though they were not registered as broker-dealers or associated with registered broker-dealers.

The SEC's complaint, filed in the U.S District Court for the Southern District of Florida, charges Alvis, Boulos, Pingarron, and Sorondo with violations of the securities registration provisions of Sections 5(a) and 5(c) of the Securities Act of 1933 and the broker-dealer registration provisions of Section 15(a)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. In its litigated complaints against each of the four individual defendants, the SEC is seeking an injunction, disgorgement of allegedly ill-gotten gains with interest, and a civil penalty.

The SEC's investigation was conducted by Alexander Charap, Cecilia Danger, and Crystal Ivory, and supervised by Jessica Weissman, Fernando Torres, and Glenn Gordon. The litigation is being led by Robert K. Levenson and supervised by Teresa Verges.