PLANO, Texas (CN) – A 43-year-old Texan who is on Social Security disability for being deaf defrauded thousands of other deaf people of $3.5 million, the SEC says. Jody Dunn, of Corinth, raised about half of the $7 million that Imperia Invest took from suckers, the SEC said; the SEC sued Imperia last year.
“Approximately 7,133 deaf investors sent money to Dunn, who represented that he would invest in Imperia on their behalf,” the SEC said in its federal complaint. “Dunn did not disclose to investors that he would misappropriate a portion of their funds to pay his mortgage, make car payments, pay for car insurance and a variety of other personal expenses.”
Dunn raised more than $3.45 million for Imperia Invest, which raised more than $7 million in all, $4 million “primarily from deaf investors in the United States,” according to the SEC complaint.
Dunn swiped at least $353,068 – more than 10 percent – before he sent the rest to Imperia, the SEC says. Imperia “guaranteed” returns of 1.2 percent a day to investors, who never saw any profits, the SEC says.
“Dunn was aware that Imperia lost investor money and was not accurately crediting investor accounts, yet he continued to send investor money to Imperia without disclosing to investors what was happening,” SEC regional director Kenneth Israel said in a statement. “To further take advantage of others in the deaf community, Dunn was siphoning off about 10 percent of the money he collected from investors to pay his own bills before sending the rest of money into the Imperia quagmire.”