SEC Charges South Florida Lawyer with Securities Fraud

Litigation Release No. 24926 / September 29, 2020

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Andrew Dale Ledbetter, Esq., No. 20-civ-61972 (S.D. Fla. filed September 29, 2020)

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged South Florida lawyer Andrew Dale Ledbetter with fraud in connection with the unlawful sale of securities to investors on behalf of a now-bankrupt merchant cash advance company. The SEC previously charged 1 Global Capital, LLC, its former CEO and CFO, and the former CEO's brother-in-law in connection with the alleged $322 million fraud perpetrated on more than 3,600 retail investors. The SEC also previously charged Ledbetter's law partner with fraud, and charged a sales agent for acting as an unregistered broker.

According to the SEC's complaint, Ledbetter, while an attorney at a Fort Lauderdale law firm that was counsel to 1 Global, falsely told investors and the network of sales agents he recruited to offer and sell 1 Global's notes nationwide that 1 Global's notes were not securities despite knowing that they were securities and that the offering violated the securities laws. In the process, he reaped approximately $2.9 million in commissions from the sale of 1 Global's notes.

In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida today announced criminal charges against Ledbetter.

The SEC's complaint, filed in federal district court in Miami, charges Ledbetter with violating the antifraud provisions of 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 securities registration provisions of Sections 5(a) and 5(c) of the Securities Act, and the broker-dealer registration provisions of Section 15(a) of the Exchange Act. The SEC seeks a court-ordered injunction, disgorgement of allegedly ill-gotten gains, pre-judgement interest, and a civil penalty.

The SEC's continuing investigation is being conducted by Gary Miller in the Miami Regional Office and supervised by Elisha L. Frank and Glenn S. Gordon. The SEC's litigation is being led by Robert K. Levenson. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation.