The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged 1 Global Capital LLC’s former chief financial officer, Alan G. Heide, with defrauding retail investors. The now bankrupt Florida-based cash advance company allegedly fraudulently raised more than $322 million from 3,600 investors between 2014 and last year. The SEC previously charged 1 Global and former CEO Carl Ruderman with fraud and charged Henry J. “Trae” Wieniewitz, III for his allegedly unlawful sales of 1 Global securities. Ruderman and Wieniewitz have consented to final judgments.
The SEC complaint said that although 1 Global promised investors profits from its short-term cash advances to businesses, the company used substantial investor funds for other purposes, including paying operating expenses and funding Ruderman’s lavish lifestyle. The SEC alleges that Heide, a certified public accountant, regularly signed investors’ monthly account statements that he knew overstated the value of their accounts and falsely represented that 1 Global had an independent auditor that had endorsed the company’s method of calculating investor returns.
“Heide’s misrepresentations gave false comfort to investors, allowing them to be duped to invest in 1 Global’s securities,” said Eric I. Bustillo, Director of the SEC’s Miami Regional Office. “We allege that as 1 Global’s CFO, Heide played a significant role in 1 Global’s fraud by overstating the value of investors’ accounts and their rates of return and falsely representing the role of an auditor.”
The SEC’s complaint charges Heide with violations of the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws. The SEC seeks a court-ordered injunction and a financial penalty. Heide agreed to settle the SEC’s charges as to liability, without admitting or denying the allegations, and agreed to be subject to an injunction, with the court to determine the penalty amount at a later date.
Separately, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida today announced criminal charges against Heide.
This is the third action the SEC has brought involving the 1 Global fraud. In the first case, Ruderman consented to a final judgment against him in which he was permanently enjoined from violating the antifraud, securities registration, and broker-dealer registration provisions of the federal securities laws, and held liable for disgorgement of approximately $32 million in ill-gotten gains and a civil penalty of $15 million. As part of the judgment, Ruderman agreed to turn over approximately $750,000 in cash, as well as 50 percent of the equity in his multimillion-dollar condominium.
Additionally, in July, the SEC filed a settled action charging a 1 Global external sales agent, Wieniewitz, with securities and broker-dealer registration violations. Wieniewitz agreed to a final judgment holding him and his former company jointly and severally liable for more than $3.5 million in disgorgement and a $150,000 civil penalty. He was previously enjoined from violating the securities registration and broker-dealer registration provisions of the federal securities laws.
The SEC’s continuing investigation is being conducted by Gary Miller in the Miami Regional Office and supervised by Elisha L. Frank and Glenn S. Gordon. The SEC’s litigation is being led by Robert K. Levenson. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation.