Saturday, June 10, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

SEC Alleges $150M Real Estate Ponzi

LOS ANGELES (CN) - The SEC on Friday froze the assets of six Pasadena companies and two managers it accuses of running a $150 million real estate Ponzi scam.

Yin Nan "Michael" Wang and Wendy Ko took more than $150 million from 2,000 investors by selling promissory notes issued through Velocity Investment Group, manager of Bio Profit Series LLCs Nos. I, II, III and V, the SEC said in a statement announcing its federal lawsuit.

The SEC also sued Rockwell Realty Management, of Temple City.

Wang, 55, of Hacienda Heights, is sole owner of Velocity, and Ko, 48, of Pasadena, is co-signatory, with Wang, of Rockwell bank accounts, the SEC said.

"Each of the Bio Profit Series funds purports to be primarily in the business of making real estate-related loans in California, but in reality Wang and Ko have used money received from newer investors to make the promised quarterly interest payments to earlier investors in Ponzi-like fashion," the SEC said in its statement.

The agency claimed that Wang "falsified financial records and used another company to create the illusion of legitimate economic activity."

The defendants have been taking money from investors since 2005, the SEC said.

It seeks disgorgement, an injunction and penalties for securities fraud.


Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.