SEC Charges Company and Estate with Fraudulent Investment Scheme

Litigation Release No. 25560 / Oct. 18, 2022

Securities and Exchange Commission v. The Estate of Stephen Romney Swensen, and Crew Capital Group, LLC, Defendants, Wendy Swensen, Saria C. Rodriguez, WS Family IP, LLC, and Wingman, LLC, and Swensen Capital, LLC, Relief Defendants, No. 1:22-cv-00135-DBP (D. Utah filed Oct. 14, 2022)

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed charges against the estate of Stephen Romney Swensen, a former registered investment adviser representative, for operating a fraudulent investment offering from 2011 until 2022 that raised over $29 million from more than 50 investors.

The SEC's complaint alleges that Swensen, who died on June 6, 2022, fraudulently induced victims into investing in Crew Capital Group, LLC. Swensen falsely told investors that Crew Capital was a fund that was co-managed by a reputable firm and guaranteed investors a minimum 5% annual return and up to 10% if the S&P 500 performed well. According to the complaint, Crew Capital, which was owned and controlled by Swensen, did not invest in any securities. Rather, the SEC alleges, Swensen misappropriated essentially all investor funds to make Ponzi payments to other investors and to pay for Swensen's personal expenses, such as real estate, vehicles and multiple private aircraft, and Swensen's living expenses.

The SEC's complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, charges Swensen and Crew Capital 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 SEC seeks a permanent injunction against Crew Capital, and disgorgement with prejudgment interest from Swensen's estate and Crew Capital.

The SEC's investigation was conducted by Cher Mori, Joni Ostler, and Pasha Salimi of the SEC's Salt Lake Regional Office, supervised by Tanya G. Beard and Tracy S. Combs. The litigation will be led by Casey Fronk and supervised by Tracy S. Combs.