BULLETIN: Sunshine State Serves Up Another Bizarre One: Florida Securities Swindler Changed His Name — And Began Scamming Anew, SEC Says
BULLETIN: The SEC has gone to federal court in the Southern District of Florida, alleging that a Boca Raton swindler formerly known as Joseph Yurkin changed his name to John Hilton and began scamming anew.
“By changing his name, Hilton thought he could evade further SEC scrutiny and keep the investing public from finding the truth in his background,” said Eric I. Bustillo, director of the SEC’s Miami Regional Office. “The SEC is committed to pursuing repeat offenders and ensuring the open and transparent sale of securities to investors.”
The new scam involved “investments in oil drilling projects,” the SEC said.
The bizarre caper began to unfold last year, after the SEC obtained a final judgment in a 2007 case when Hilton was known as Yurkin and was associated with a company known as Homeland Communications Corp., the agency said.
After that judgment, Yurkin changed his name and rolled out at at two more frauds, the SEC charged.
Form the SEC’s complaint against the man now known as Hilton (italics added):
From no later than March 2011 until January 2012, Hilton sold securities in the fomm of limited partnership units in at least three oil drilling projects in Tennessee sponsored by United States Energy Corporation (“U.S. Energy”). To lure investors, Hilton misrepresented his identity, the risks associated with the investment, the anticipated dividends due to investors, and the amount of oil US Energy’s wells produced.
Not only did Hilton make false representations to potential investors, he also managed a boiler room and sales agents to assist him in soliciting contributions. Hilton caused companies he controls, Pacific Northwestern Energy LLC (“Pacific”) and New Horizon Publishing Inc., to pay these sales agents commissions in exchange for finding investors and selling US Energy securities.
A federal judge has issued an emergency asset freeze and appointed a receiver, the SEC said.
Read the complaint.