A New Jersey investment manager and his web of companies have been ordered to pay $7.3 million in disgorgement and penalties in a prime bank scheme that promised investors exorbitant returns, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Friday.
Brett A. Cooper of Cinnaminson, N.J, conned investors out of $2.1 million through various frauds, including schemes guaranteeing astronomical returns of as much as 1,000 percent in 60 days to investors in purported prime bank transactions and overseas debt instruments, the SEC says in the civil complaint.
In addition to Cooper, the entities he created, which were fined, were Global Funding Systems LLC, Dream Holdings LLC, Fortitude Investing LLC, Peninsula Waterfront Development LP and REOP Group Inc.
Between 2008 and 2012, Cooper and his companies lured investors into fictitious prime bank or high-yield investment contracts with the promise of extraordinary returns on their investments in a matter of weeks, with little to no risk. The purported investments involved the purchase of bank instruments from major international banks.
The SEC says none of the investors received any returns on their money and none of it was used to acquire any bank instruments. The court found that Cooper spent investors’ money on hotels, cars and other personal items. Cooper forged e-mails and letters that supposedly came from a brokerage firm, the SEC says.