U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 19453 / November 2, 2005
United States of America v. Philip J. Yoder, No. 3:05-CR-0125-AS (N.D. Ind.) (Sharp, J.).
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Philip J. Yoder Individually and d/b/a All The Way to the Top, No. 3:03-CV-0418AS (N.D. Ind.) (Sharp, J.).
PHILIP J. YODER INDICTED FOR OPERATING FRAUDULENT "ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP" INVESTMENT SCHEME
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that on October 12, 2005, the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana indicted Philip J. Yoder with a total of eight counts of mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering for operating an investment scheme that defrauded 85 investors out of more than $637,603. The indictment charged that from December 2000 to February 2001, Yoder raised approximately $637,603 from investors in All the Way to the Top, a so-called loan program in which he promised guaranteed monthly returns of 40 to 50 percent. According to the indictment, Yoder told investors that their investment was safe and risk-free and misrepresented the use of investor funds. Contrary to his representations, Yoder spent a significant portion of investor funds on personal expenses, including a Mercedes SUV and a motorcycle. Investors received neither the interest that was promised them, nor did they recover their principal investment. If convicted on all counts, Yoder could receive a maximum penalty of 55 years in prison and fines of $2,225,000. Yoder, age 28, resides in Goshen, Indiana.
The criminal charges against Yoder come just six months after the Commission obtained a final judgment of permanent injunction and order of disgorgement of ill-gotten gains and civil penalties totaling $504,991.70 in its civil lawsuit against Yoder. The Commission's lawsuit charged Yoder with defrauding investors in All the Way to the Top and a second scheme in which Yoder raised more than $1 million for a fictitious "prime bank" trading program. On May 12, 2005, Judge Allen Sharp of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana entered the final judgment against Yoder, permanently enjoining Yoder from engaging in future violations of the antifraud and registration provisions of the federal securities laws and ordering him to pay disgorgement of $394,991.70 and a civil penalty of $110,000.
Additional information regarding the Commission's lawsuit can be found at Litigation Release Nos. 19249, June 6, 2005, and 18184, June 10, 2003. The Commission wishes to thank the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, the South Bend, Indiana and Portland, Oregon Field Offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the British Columbia Securities Commission, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Hong Kong Police Department for their assistance in this matter.
For tips on how to avoid prime bank fraud, visit www.sec.gov/divisions/enforce/primebank.shtml. For more information on Internet fraud, visit http://www.sec.gov/divisions/enforce/internetenforce.htm. To report suspicious activity involving possible Internet fraud, visit www.sec.gov/complaint.shtml.