ALBANY, N.Y. (CN) – A Troy, N.Y. man took $6.5 million from senior citizens by promising “guaranteed” annual returns of more than 9 percent, and many of his victims are still unaware that they’ve been ripped off, the SEC claims in Federal Court.
As of March 31, Matthew John Ryan appeared to be continuing his fraud through shell entities called American Integrity Financial Co., and Primate Rate and Return LLC, though American Integrity owed investors at least $3.5 million, but had less than $8,500 in cash on hand, according to the complaint.
The SEC seeks an emergency order freezing Ryan’s and American Integrity’s assets, appointment of a receiver, expedited discovery and verified accounting.
Prime Rate also does business under such names as Low Cost Moving and Storage and Dirty Old Man, a handyman and trash-removal business, the SEC says.
The agency claims Ryan ran his fraud through a phony Manhattan address and created names and titles for fictitious employees. He offered investment contracts for a fixed term – usually 3 years – after which investors could withdraw money or roll it over, the SEC says.
Ryan told one victim, a 77-year-old woman who gave him $165,000, that her money was protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. or the Securities Investor Protection Corp. – though neither statement was true, according to the complaint.
Ryan used the money he collected to support a lavish lifestyle that included at least $125,000 he paid for Mercedes-Benz and a BMW, the SEC says. It seeks disgorgement, penalties and an injunction.