SEC Obtains Final Judgment Against Former Broker Found Liable for Defrauding Federal Employees

Litigation Release No. 25479 / August 19, 2022

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Jonathan Dax Cooke, et al., No. 1:17-cv-02873-JSA (N.D. Ga. filed July 31, 2017)

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia today entered a final consent judgment against Jonathan Dax Cooke, a former broker accused of fraudulently persuading hundreds of current and former federal employees to liquidate their Thrift Savings Plan accounts in order to purchase variable annuities. The variable annuities charged significantly higher fees and provided Cooke with substantial commissions. The three other individual defendants named in this litigation settled before trial. On March 22, 2022, the jury in the Northern District of Georgia ruled in favor of the SEC on all counts against Cooke.

The final judgment (a) enjoins Cooke from violating the antifraud provisions of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") and Rule 10b-5 thereunder and Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, and from aiding and abetting violations of the broker-dealer books and records provisions of Section 17 of the Exchange Act; (b) bars Cooke from serving as an officer or director of certain publicly-held companies; and (c) orders Cooke to pay disgorgement of $396,409 and a civil penalty of $103,591.

The SEC's litigation was led by Kristin W. Murnahan, William P. Hicks, and M. Graham Loomis.