PLANO, Texas (CN) – After losing his law license for “multiple violent felonies,” Irvine, Calif.-based Omar Ali Rizvi bilked 173 investors of $1.9 million, and swiped $1.2 million of it, the SEC claims in Federal Court. The SEC also sued Rizvi’s companies, Bellwether Venture Capital Fund and Strategy Partners.
Rizvi, 40, never registered his latest companies, nor did he inform his victims of his felony record or the surrender of his law license, the SEC says.
“Rizvi engaged in the securities-related misconduct described herein, despite an ample legal education and experience in securities law,” the SEC says. “Rizvi completed law school in California in 1992 and graduated from Georgetown University Law School in 1993 with a Master of Laws degree in Securities and Financial Regulation. From June 1993 through November 2001, Rizvi practiced securities law in California, providing securities-related legal counsel to companies, among other things.
“In November 2001, the State Bar of California suspended Rizvi’s law license following his August 2001 conviction on multiple violent felonies, including assault with a deadly weapon. For these crimes, Rizvi was sentenced on August 17, 2001, to 270 days imprisonment and five years probation. In December 2001, Rizvi voluntarily surrendered his law license in lieu of disbarment in California.”
Despite this “ample legal education,” the SEC says, Rizvi and his two latest companies bilked investors for $1,873,385 from August 2004 through June 2005, and “misappropriated and misapplied approximately $1,199,905 of the offering proceeds.”