SEC Charges Former Chief Petty Officer with Fraud in Investment Scheme That Targeted U.S. Navy Veterans and Sailors
Litigation Release No. 25455 / July 28, 2022
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Robert L. Murray, Jr., No. 5:22-cv-01329 (N.D. Ohio filed July 27, 2022)
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges against Robert L. Murray, Jr., a former U.S. Navy chief petty officer, for engaging in a fraudulent investment scheme that used Facebook to target Navy veterans, reservists, and active-duty Sailors.
The SEC's complaint alleges that, from September 2020 through January 2022, Murray, formerly of North Canton, Ohio, solicited prospective investors in a Facebook group for current and former members of the Navy and offered securities in Deep Dive Strategies, LLC, a fund he controlled. In the unregistered offering, Murray, who was acting as an unregistered investment adviser, raised nearly $355,000 from approximately 44 investors in 14 states and told investors that the fund would invest in publicly traded securities. However, according to the complaint, Murray used a portion of the investor funds to trade options and misappropriated about $148,000 for his personal gain, including to gamble at a casino.
The SEC's complaint, filed in federal court in the Northern District of Ohio, charges Murray with violating the antifraud and registration provisions of the federal securities laws. The SEC is seeking a permanent injunction, an officer-and-director bar, disgorgement with prejudgment interest, and a civil penalty.
The SEC's investigation was conducted by Matthew T. Wissa, Jaclyn J. Janssen, and Jean M. Javorski and supervised by Amy S. Cotter in the Chicago Regional Office. Eric M. Phillips will lead the litigation.
The SEC's Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) and the Division of Enforcement's Retail Strategy Task Force warn investors of making investment decisions based solely on common ties with someone recommending or selling the investment. Investors can find unbiased information on investor.gov, the SEC's resource for free financial planning tools and education. Investor.gov also has information for service members and for veterans about making informed saving and investment decisions and avoiding common scams.