The Securities and Exchange Commission is suing a Marietta investment adviser, accusing him and his company of defrauding investors in the U.S. and Great Britain of at least $800,000 with promises of guaranteed returns.
The SEC, which regulates the investment community, said Stephen Kirkland and the Kirkland Organization repeatedly made false and misleading statements to investors and potential investors to get them to let Kirkland manage their funds through a third party. The third party was Westover Energy Trading Partners of New York City.
Efforts to reach Kirkland were unsuccessful Tuesday.
The SEC said Kirkland, who filed for bankruptcy in 2012, was operating as an investment consultant but neither he nor his company had ever been associated with any entity registered with the SEC or the state.
Westover Energy also was not registered with the SEC or state, the agency said.
The SEC said Kirkland solicited investments in index funds, exchange-traded funds and commodities funds through Westover Energy. Among other benefits, Kirkland allegedly promised clients they would earn 2 percent to 3 percent a month on their investments.
Kirkland also allegedly promised investors his company would reimburse them for losses up to $5,000 in a single trading day and Westover Energy would make up the difference for losses greater than that amount.
The Marietta consultant managed to raise at least $800,000 from eight investors in the United States and Great Britain between 2008 and 2010, the SEC said. It said at least some of the investors demanded their money back but did not receive it.
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