CHICAGO (CN) – While purporting to invest in a lucrative airplane-leasing business, Jason Hyatt, Jay Johnson and Hyatt Johnson Capital swiped more than $5 million from investors and spent it on their houses, fast cars, and a Chicago restaurant called De La Costa, the SEC claims in Federal Court.
The defendants raised more than $24 million from at least 120 investors and claimed they would put the money into 10 or more LLCs, the SEC says.
“In reality at least $5.4 million was misappropriated, among other things, to operate a Latin-themes restaurant in Chicago named De La Costa and to pay for Defendant Hyatt’s personal expenses including numerous mortgage payments and substantial home improvements for two homes, as well as at least $155,000 worth of art and antiques, a Maserati, a Mercedes, a Hummer H2, a Yukon Denali, and other vehicles,” the complaint states.
Hyatt, 34, formerly a registered securities broker, lives in St. Charles, Ill.
Johnson, 48, of Downers Grove, like his partner, Hyatt, refused to answer the SEC’s questions in a January deposition, citing the Fifth Amendment.
They are the only owners and managers of Hyatt Johnson Capital, which they operate out of Downers Grove.