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CEO Bilked Investors for Millions, SEC Claims

DALLAS (CN) - Diversified Lending Group CEO Bruce Friedman diverted millions of dollars of investors' money to his lavish lifestyle and pet projects, including a feature film listing him as executive producer, the Securities and Exchange Commission claims in Federal Court.

Friedman raised more than $216 million by selling five-year notes to hundreds of investors, mainly elderly clients, the SEC claims. The Sherman Oaks-based lending group and its subsidiary, Applied Equities, claimed to make money by buying and flipping real estate, but the SEC claims Friedman misappropriated a large chunk of the money to finance personal business ventures and support a life of luxury. He purportedly spent more than $17 million on homes, cars, vacations, jewelry, and designer clothing and accessories. He also gave more than $250,000 to his girlfriend, Tina Placourakis, according to the lawsuit.

The SEC demands an injunction and disgorgement.

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