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Surgetrader: Unveiling a Potential Scam Prop Firm Exploiting Church Members

TheTrustedProp
Date: May 10, 2024

In a recent press release, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has brought to light a shocking case of fraudulent activities involving Brent Seaman, a resident of Naples, Florida, and multiple associated entities. This elaborate scheme resulted in the unlawful acquisition of approximately $35 million from over 60 investors, with a significant number of victims being elderly retirees who were part of a local Naples church, where Seaman was actively involved.

 

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False Promises and Deceptive Operations

The SEC's investigation reveals that the fraudulent scheme operated from around June 2019 to September 2022. During this period, Seaman orchestrated a series of deceitful actions. He lured investors by falsely claiming that their funds would be invested in technology companies and used for trading currencies and commodities. Promising annual returns that ranged between 18 and 48 percent, Seaman marketed these investments as "safe" and the returns as "guaranteed." However, these guarantees were nothing more than empty words.

Interestingly, Seaman touted his supposed success in currency trading to attract investors. The truth, however, was starkly different. Behind the scenes, he was consistently losing substantial sums of investors' money, rendering his currency trading endeavors unprofitable.

Lavish Living at Investors' Expense

Further unraveling the scheme, it was discovered that Seaman siphoned off millions of dollars for personal gain. Luxury vehicles and extravagant trips on private planes were just a few of the lavish expenditures funded by misappropriated investor funds.

Ponzi-Like Payments and Exploitation

As the web of deception continued, Seaman resorted to making Ponzi-like payments to investors. This tactic involved using new investors' money to pay earlier investors, giving the illusion of profitability and returns. However, the truth was that the scheme was unsustainable, and Seaman could not generate enough profits through his trading activities to meet the required monthly distributions to investors.

Accountability and Legal Action

Eric I. Bustillo, the Director of the SEC’s Miami Regional Office, aptly summarized the situation: "Seaman targeted church members with false claims of success." The SEC has taken decisive action against this fraudulent operation. A complaint has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, charging not only Brent Seaman but also a web of associated entities, including Accanito Holdings, LLC, Accanito Equity, LLC, and more, with various violations of securities laws.

Settlement and Consequences

As a response to the allegations, all defendants involved in the fraud have consented to a bifurcated settlement, although they have not admitted to any wrongdoing. This settlement includes injunctions against violating federal securities laws and a prohibition on Brent Seaman from holding positions as an officer or director of any SEC-reporting company. The court will also deliberate on potential disgorgement with prejudgment interest and civil penalties.

Conclusion

The SEC's unwavering commitment to uncovering and addressing fraudulent activities has once again come to the forefront with the exposure of the Surgetrader scam. This cautionary tale serves as a stark reminder to investors to exercise due diligence and skepticism, even when presented with seemingly enticing investment opportunities. As the legal proceedings unfold, the case of Surgetrader stands as a testament to the importance of investor protection and the pursuit of justice in the financial realm.

Note: The information provided in this article is based on the press release issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on July 27, 2023. It is important to refer to official sources for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding this case.

 

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