The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced fraud charges and an emergency asset freeze obtained against an Atlanta-based businessman accused of misusing investor funds raised to purchase and renovate senior living facilities.
The SEC alleges that Christopher F. Brogdon amassed nearly $190 million through dozens of municipal bond and private placement offerings in which investors supposedly earn interest from revenues generated by the nursing home, assisted living facility, or other retirement community project supported by their investment. But Brogdon secretly commingled investor funds instead of using the money to finance the project described to investors in the disclosure documents for each offering. From the commingled accounts, he has diverted investor money to other business ventures and personal expenses.
“As alleged, Brogdon deceived investors about the true nature of these investment opportunities,” said Sanjay Wadhwa, Senior Associate Director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office. “Brogdon falsely promised investors they were investing in specific senior living projects when in reality they also were funding his personal expenses and other businesses, including some that are struggling financially.”
According to the SEC’s complaint filed in federal court in Newark, N.J., Brogdon has been making payments to investors by borrowing money from third parties, using proceeds from other offerings, and drawing down on personal lines of credit, all of which are improper sources under the offering disclosures made to investors.
The SEC complaint charges Brogdon with violations of the antifraud provisions of the securities laws and related SEC rules, and seeks the return of ill-gotten gains with interest and penalties. The complaint also seeks permanent injunctions against further violations of the securities laws, and a bar prohibiting Brogdon from serving as an officer or director of a public company. The complaint also names Brogdon’s wife and son and a number of his other business entities as relief defendants for the purpose of recovering ill-gotten gains plus interest for investors.
The SEC’s continuing investigation is being conducted by Ranah L. Esmaili, Lee A. Greenwood, Kerri L. Palen, and Joseph Chimienti, and the litigation will be handled by Ms. Esmaili, Mr. Greenwood, Neal Jacobson, and Alexander Vasilescu. The case is being supervised by Lara S. Mehraban and Mr. Wadhwa. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the New Jersey Bureau of Securities and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which today filed an enforcement action against Cantone Research Inc., a broker-dealer that served as a placement agent for some of Brogdon’s offerings.