SEC Lowers the Boom on Redlands CPA

     LOS ANGELES (CN) - A Redlands CPA fraudulently raised more than $60 million through his businesses and lost more than $18 million of it, the SEC says. It sued 64-year-old Charles P. Copeland and his two businesses, both named Copeland Wealth Management, one a financial adviser and one a real estate corporation.
     The SEC's federal complaint says that since 2003 Copeland has taken in more than $60 million from more than 100 investors, many of them his tax clients, by selling interests in 23 limited partnerships operated by his two businesses.
     It claims Copeland and his companies "made material misrepresentations and omissions in the offer, sale and/or purchase of 21 of the 23 limited partnerships regarding: (1) the use of investor funds, (2) conflicts of interest, (3) guaranteed returns, (4) the unauthorized trading of put options, and (5) the payment of undisclosed real estate commissions and other related compensation."
     Copeland Wealth Management (CWM), the financial advisory corporation, managed $144 million in assets as of May 31, $21 million of it related to real estate, the SEC says. It claims that, upon Copeland's advice, his clients at CWM invested $48.2 million in the limited partnerships operated by Copeland Realty.
     Those investments tanked to the tune of $16 million, the SEC says. It claims Copeland lost another $2.4 million from the $9.6 million invested by nonadvisory clients.
     The SEC seeks disgorgement and penalties for securities fraud and investment adviser fraud, and preservation of documents.