Man is Convicted in $2.2M Investment Fraud
A federal jury has convicted a Pennsylvania man on 16 counts of securities fraud, 12 counts of wire fraud, four counts of money laundering, one count of mail fraud, and one count of tax evasion in a $2.2M investment scam. Thomas H. Connerton is accused of defrauding 50 people, including several women that he met through online dating. He was the CEO, president, and founder of Safety Technologies, LLC.
Founded in 2006, Safety Technologies was supposed to develop and commercialize materials that were resistant to cuts and punctures and which could be used to make surgical gloves and related products. Starting in 2009, Connerton began persuading investors to buy securities in Safety Tech. The investments were not registered with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Connerton falsely represented that the company’s valuation was in the tens of millions of dollars and that a deal to license or sell this technology was expected. Investors were told that their money would go toward helping to get the product launched into the marketplace, and they were guaranteed that they wouldn’t lose any money.
The prosecution contended that investors’ funds were instead used to pay for Connerton’s personal expenses, including two Tiffany diamond engagement rings, and to pay back previous loans he owed to an earlier investor.
Connerton also is accused of engaging in certain transactions specifically to try to hide the fraud from the SEC and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The government wants restitution for investors that were harmed as well as the forfeiture of the diamond rings.
Couple Charged in $5M Investor Fraud
An Arizona couple is charged with multiple counts of federal fraud and conspiracy for allegedly defrauding investors of $5M.
Michael and Betsy Feinberg allegedly promised investors returns of up to over 2200% over three years. According to the Arizona Daily Star, their victims were under the impression that they were investing in the “next Microsoft” when, in fact, the couple lacked the experience to run that kind of company. Meantime, they allegedly used investors’ funds to support their luxury lifestyle.
In 2015, the Arizona Corporate Commission accused the Feinbergs of selling securities without a license and issued a cease-and-desist order against them.
Real Estate Developer Accused in $16M Fraud Surrenders to the FBI
Todd Elliott Hitt, a Northern Virginia real estate developer, has turned himself in to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Hitt is accused of securities fraud involving his asset management firm Kiddar Capital, LLC.
According to the Justice Department, the real estate developer made false claims when he contended that his firm had offices in Texas, California, and the UK, as well as that he supposedly oversaw $1.4B in assets. Hitt then allegedly raised over $16M from investors, who thought that he was investing $6M as a partner in a $33M building purchase.
Hitt has already settled related civil charges brought by the SEC. The regulator is accusing him of “skimming” millions of dollars from investors who thought their money was going toward the purchase of an office building. Instead, he allegedly misappropriated their funds to to pay for his lavish lifestyle and issue Ponzi-like payments to investors.
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Tucson couple faces federal charges in $5 million investor fraud case, Tucson.com, September 15, 2018
Real estate developer Todd Hitt surrenders to FBI over securities fraud charges, BizJournals.com, October 5, 2018
Ex-Fairfield County CEO Man Guilty Of Defrauding More Than $2M From Investors, Bridgeport Daily Voice, September 18, 2018
The SEC Complaint Against Hitt and Kiddar Capital (PDF)