SEC charges investment adviser with $11m fraud

6 September 2010

Sandra Venetis, an investment adviser from New Jersey, has been accused of leading a Ponzi scheme which saw $11 million stolen from clients.

According to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the accused misled investors through fake promissory notes issued via three associated firms.

She is also alleged to have promised investors that their capital would be used to fund loans to doctors.

Instead, the money was given to relatives of Ms Venetis as well as being used to pay off a range of debts gained from travelling and gambling.

Bruce Karpati, co-chief of the SEC's Asset Management Unit, said: “Venetis abused her position of trust to target older investors who were the most vulnerable to her egregious lies and misrepresentations.

“The SEC's enforcement action and the settlement reached ensure that she will never work in the securities industry again."

Ms Venetis agreed to settle by way of a court order from the SEC which will freeze her assets as well as ensuring fines are imposed at a later date.

The order also means the accused is banned from future interactions with brokers, dealers or investment advisers.

By Jim Ottewill

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