Litigation Release No. 23698 / December 2, 2016

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Rafael Antonio Calleja, Jr., Civil Action No. 16-CV-24872-KMW (S.D. Fla. filed November 22, 2016)

SEC Charges Naples, Florida Resident with Misappropriating Investor Funds

On November 22, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil injunctive action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida against Rafael Antonio Calleja, Jr, a resident of Naples, Florida.

According to the SEC's complaint, from approximately March through July 2014, Calleja, through his Miami-based company Tower Trade Group USA LLC, solicited and received investment funds totaling approximately $2.7 million from ten mostly elderly or retired investors as part of an unregistered securities offering. Calleja misappropriated some of the funds for his own personal enjoyment and failed to invest the remaining funds as promised. Calleja also did not disclose to investors that their funds would be sent offshore to be invested by a foreign company ("Foreign Affiliate") affiliated with TTG USA.

After discovering Calleja's misuse of investor funds, the Foreign Affiliate re-paid all of the investors in full.

Simultaneously with the filing of the complaint, Calleja consented, without admitting or denying the allegations, to the entry of a final judgment permanently restraining and enjoining him from violating Sections 5(a) and (c) and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Sections 15(a)(1) and 10(b) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.

Based on Calleja's sworn representations in his Statement of Financial Condition and other documents submitted to the Commission, the Commission waived payment of disgorgement and prejudgment interest and did not seek the imposition of a civil monetary penalty.

The SEC's investigation was conducted by Scott A. Lowry and supervised by Thierry Olivier Desmet, with assistance from Andrew O. Schiff. The examination that led to the investigation was conducted by George Franceschini, Anson Kwong, and Thomas Wheeler, and supervised by Nicholas A. Monaco and John C. Mattimore, all of the Miami Regional Office.

Additional Materials Available

SEC Complaint