PONZI >> FORUM >> CESSPIT >> ALERT >> MOVING: SEC Charges Texas-Based Imperia Invest Promoter With Securities Fraud, Other Offenses; Agency Says Jody Dunn Targeted Deaf Investors, Lied To Them — And Cherry-Picked Their Funds To Pay For His House And Car
ALERT >> MOVING: A deaf promoter of an online program that stole millions of dollars from deaf investors knew the purported Imperia Invest IBC opportunity did not come as advertised but nevertheless continued to promote it, siphoning money from fellow deaf investors and using it to make his mortgage, car, insurance and other payments, the SEC said.
Even after Imperia Invest was exposed as an obvious fraud that advertised a preposterous daily return that projected to an annual rate in the hundreds of percent, promoter Jody Myung Dunn insisted he was owed $163 million from his personal investment of $1,100, the SEC charged.
Dunn, 43, of Corinth, Texas, has no broker/dealer or securities credentials, and currently is unemployed and drawing disability benefits, the SEC said. He has been charged with securities fraud, selling unregistered securities and acting unlawfully as a broker or dealer amid charges that he blindly promoted an international scam that consumed more than $7 million and made at least $3.45 million belonging to his personal customers vanish.
In stunning allegations outlined today, the agency accused Dunn of acting as an Imperia rainmaker who recruited deaf investors into a quagmire. The purported opportunity was widely promoted on the Ponzi boards, including TalkGold and MoneyMakerGroup.
The SEC sued Imperia in October 2010, saying it was running a Traded Endowment Policies (TEP) scam. Dunn continued to make excuses for the scam even after the SEC released a printed Investor Alert and a videocast warning in American Sign Language, the SEC charged.
“Dunn was aware that Imperia lost investor money and was not accurately crediting investor accounts, yet he continued to send investor money to Imperia without disclosing to investors what was happening,” said Kenneth D. Israel, director of the SEC’s Salt Lake Regional Office. “To further take advantage of others in the deaf community, Dunn was siphoning off about 10 percent of the money he collected from investors to pay his own bills before sending the rest of money into the Imperia quagmire.”
Dunn, the SEC charged, formed a Nevada corporation known as Global Wealth Lifepath in May 2009 and established a bank account into which investors’ Imperia funds were deposited and then wired to Imperia. Meanwhile, Dunn started a second company — possibly outside the United States — and named it Dunn World Investments (DWI). A bank account established for DWI also was used as part of the Imperia fraud, the agency charged.
Despite red flags aplenty such as a purported guaranteed return of 1.2 percent a day, Dunn “blindly” promoted the Imperia scheme — even wiring money to bank accounts in Cyprus and New Zealand that had “no apparent or obvious link to Imperia,” the SEC charged.
About 7,133 deaf investors entrusted about $3.45 million to Dunn, who accepted their funds directly and scraped about $350,000 off the top, claiming to have sent the balance to Imperia’s offshore bank accounts, the SEC charged.
Although Dunn claimed “he had met and knew the individuals behind Imperia,” it was a lie, the SEC charged.
And in an allegation that may cause great discomfort to Ponzi board promoters, Dunn was accused of not conducting “even a minimum amount of due diligence” about Imperia, not confirming that the firm actually traded in TEPs and not confirming whether any required licensing or registration documentation existed, the SEC charged.
“Dunn testified that his only due diligence consisted of reading the Imperia website, attempting to verify Imperia’s URL address, and reviewing the information Imperia posted on its own website regarding its website host,” the SEC charged.
In his testimony, Dunn described Imperia as a “secretive company” that owed him $163 million in back commissions and interest on his investment of $1,100, the SEC charged.
Despite Imperia’s clandestine nature and Dunn’s inability even to find a verifiable street address for the company, Dunn still decided to plow headlong into the scheme and draft others into doing the same.
Imperia made off with at least $7 million, the SEC said last year.
Read the SEC complaint against Dunn.
View the Investor Alert in American Sign Language.