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SEC charges two Florida men in PE Ponzi scheme

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged two Florida men with operating a Ponzi scheme disguised as a purported private equity fund that fraudulently raised approximately USD22 million from more than 100 investors, many of whom were Florida teachers or retirees.

According to the SEC’s complaint filed in US District Court for the Middle District of Florida, James Davis Risher of Sanibel was responsible for handling the fund’s trading operations, and Daniel Joseph Sebastian of Lakeland distributed offering materials and solicited investors for the fund. Risher boasted to investors that he had substantial experience in trading equities and providing wealth and asset management services. In reality, Risher had no such experience but rather a lengthy criminal history, spending 11 of the last 21 years in jail instead of growing a thriving retail brokerage business as he claimed.

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