SEC Obtains Final Judgment Concluding Fraud Case Against Co-Founder of Real Estate Crowdfunding Portal

Litigation Release No. 25066 / April 7, 2021

United States Securities and Exchange Commission v. William C. Skelley and Sohin S. Shah, Defendants, Civil Action No. 18-CV-8803 (LGS) (S.D.N.Y., filed September 26, 2018)

On March 26, 2021, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York entered a final judgment against former New York resident William C. Skelley, the co-founder of a real estate crowdfunding portal.

The SEC's complaint, filed on September 26, 2018 in the Southern District of New York, alleged that Skelley, a co-founder and the CEO of Innovational Funding LLC, misappropriated more than $1 million of investor funds for his personal use. The complaint also alleged that Skelley made materially false or misleading statements to investors orally and in private placement memoranda about the use of investor funds, the amount of funds that had been raised on iFunding's portal, and the number of real estate projects that iFunding had financed.

On July 8, 2019, the SEC obtained a default judgment against Skelley after he failed to respond to the SEC's complaint. The judgment permanently enjoined Skelley from 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.

In its March 26, 2021 final judgment, the court ordered Skelley to pay disgorgement of $1,073,746.65, plus prejudgment interest of $ 184,655.27, and a civil penalty of $1,073,746.65.

The SEC's investigation was conducted by Ruta G. Dudenas of the Chicago Regional Office, and was supervised by Amy S. Cotter. Doressia L. Hutton and John E. Birkenheier led the litigation.