The Securities and Exchange Commission filed fraud charges against two New York City residents alleging they ran a Ponzi scheme in connection with the raise of investor funds to purchase and resell tickets to the Broadway show Hamilton and high-demand concerts.
In its complaint, the SEC claims that Joseph Meli and Matthew Harriton falsely told investors that all of their investment capital would be pooled to purchase large blocks of tickets that would be resold at a profit thereby generating significant investor returns. The vast majority of investor funds, however, were allegedly used for other purposes undisclosed to investors, including making Ponzi payments to earlier investors with new investor funds. Meli and Harriton, according to the SEC, allegedly diverted almost $2 million of investor funds to pay personal expenses, to buy jewelry and to make casino payments — aaah, the good life.
The SEC claims that Meli and Harriton raised more than $81 million from at least 125 investors from around the nation. In its Complaint, the SEC seeks disgorgement of illegal gains, prejudgment interest and civil monetary penalties. Meli’s wife, and another company, are named as relief defendants — meaning they are not accused of violating the federal securities laws,
but are claimed to be unlawfully holding ill-gotten gains that are subject to disgorgement.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office also joined the fray, filing criminal charges against Meli in a parallel action.
I assume it is safe to conclude there will likely be no standing ovation for this investor offering.
David Chase is a SEC defense lawyer and securities attorney and the principal of the Law Firm of David R. Chase, P.A.,located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. His firm represents those under investigation by the SEC, FINRA and the Department of Justice. Mr. Chase also represents victims of stockbroker fraud and investment advisor fraud. He can be contacted toll free at:
(800) 760-0912 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.