SEC Obtains Emergency Relief, Charges Couple Who Operated $18 Million Ponzi scheme
Washington D.C., Aug. 31, 2021 —
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that it filed an emergency action and obtained a temporary restraining order and an asset freeze to stop an alleged Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Shakopee, Minnesota residents Jason Dodd Bullard and Angela Romero-Bullard and the entity they control, Bullard Enterprises LLC. The SEC also named four relief defendants in the action – entities controlled by Bullard and Romero-Bullard that received investor funds from the alleged scheme.
According to the SEC’s complaint, filed in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, from at least 2007 to 2021, the defendants raised approximately $17.6 million from as many as 200 investors to invest in Bullard Enterprises’ purported Flagship and Platinum Funds. Bullard and Romero-Bullard allegedly told investors – most of whom were friends and family, including many elderly retirees – that their investments would be used to trade foreign currencies, and sent investors account statements showing that their accounts were increasing in value. In reality, according to the complaint, Bullard Enterprises stopped trading in foreign currencies in 2015, and the defendants simply used new investor money to pay purported “returns” to existing investors. Also according to the complaint, Bullard and Romero-Bullard misappropriated investors’ money to support other businesses they owned, including a horse racing stable, limousine service, and health and fitness studio.
“Many of the investor-victims in this case were friends and family of Bullard and Romero-Bullard who trusted their promises about investment strategy and expected returns,” said Nekia Hackworth Jones, Director of the SEC’s Atlanta Regional Office. “As alleged in the complaint, Bullard and Romero-Bullard breached that trust for years. Instead of delivering on their promises, these individuals used false statements and fraudulent documents to convince investors to pour millions of dollars into bank accounts used almost exclusively for Ponzi-style payments and for their personal benefit.”
The SEC’s complaint charges the defendants with violating the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws. In addition to temporary relief, the complaint seeks, among other things, preliminary and permanent injunctions, disgorgement, prejudgment interest, civil penalties, and an asset freeze.
The SEC’s ongoing investigation is being conducted by enforcement staff in the Atlanta Regional Office. The investigative team includes Justin Delfino, Krysta Cannon, and Tiffany Kunkle, and is supervised by Peter Diskin and Justin Jeffries. The SEC’s litigation will be led by Patrick Huddleston.