(D. Mass. Filed August 12, 2019)

SEC Obtains Final Judgment Against Massachusetts Investment Adviser for Persuading Retail Investors to Place Money Into an Overseas Scam

Litigation Release No. 25352 / March 31, 2022

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Richard G. Duncan, No. 3:19-cv-11735

On March 30, 2022, a federal court in Massachusetts entered a final judgment against former investment adviser Richard G. Duncan of Springfield, Massachusetts, who defrauded two advisory clients who were retail investors by persuading them to invest in a scam originating in Turkey. Among other things, the court ordered Duncan to pay a total of over $530,000.

The SEC's complaint, filed on August 12, 2019, alleged that Duncan breached his fiduciary duty as an investment adviser by ignoring, and failing to disclose, warnings from two banks that the Turkish investment opportunity was probably a scam. The complaint further alleged that Duncan made materially false and misleading statements to at least one client, promising as much as a 100% return on the Turkish investment.

On September 15, 2021, after a three-day trial conducted in March and April 2021, the court found that Duncan had violated Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 by, among other things, omitting and misrepresenting material facts to obtain his clients' investments, failing to disclose the conflict between his clients' interests and his personal interests, and failing to investigate the questionable Turkish investment. On March 30, 2022, the court entered a final judgment that permanently enjoins Duncan from violating the antifraud provisions of Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Advisers Act and orders Duncan to pay disgorgement of $104,080 plus prejudgment interest of $14,716, and a civil penalty of $414,366.

The Commission's case was handled by Susan Cooke Anderson, Eric Forni, John McCann, and Michele T. Perillo of the Boston Regional Office, with assistance from Kamran Beikmohamadi, John Kachmor, Josh Grinspoon, and Melissa Clough of the Division of Examinations in the Boston office, who conducted a related examination.