Crackdown on fraud against elderly continues

Losses & Lawsuits

In its continuing crackdown on investment fraudsters targeting senior citizens, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has started emergency enforcement proceedings against a fraudulent offering of stock in One Wall Street, a New York-based company.

In its complaint filed in the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn, the Commission alleges that One Wall Street and its principals have illegally obtained over $1.6 million from at least 64 investors, most of them senior citizens.

The action charges defendants One Wall Street, Donte Jarvis, Alan Brown, Willis 'Bill' White III and Cecil Baptiste with making fraudulent solicitations and misappropriating investor funds.

The complaint alleges that from March 2003 until the present, the defendants raised at least $1.6 million from at least 64 investors - mostly senior citizens - who purchased unregistered One Wall Street stock.

The defendants are alleged to have misled investors that One Wall Street would imminently conduct an initial public offering (IPO), that E*Trade Financial Corporation was negotiating to merge with One Wall Street, and that One Wall Street would use the investment proceeds for solely business purposes.

However, the defendants have not pursued an IPO of One Wall Street, E*Trade has never engaged in any business discussions with One Wall Street whatsoever, nor did One Wall Street use investor proceeds in the manner the defendants represented.

The SEC seeks temporary restraining orders against further violations of the federal securities laws, asset freezes, and accountings.

The regulator has recently focused on investment fraud targeted at the elderly, aligning its enforcement arena, oversight operations and inspections to the growing problem.

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