TAMPA (CN) – Four people and their three companies defrauded investors of millions of dollars in a prime-bank scam, claiming their investment plan had to be kept secret because if people knew about it it would encourage “the flight of capital from the United States,” the SEC claims in Federal Court. The SEC sued John Morgan, Marian Morgan, Morgan European Holdings ApS aka Money Talks, ApS, Stephen Bowman, Bowman Marketing Group, and Thomas Woodcock Jr.
According to the SEC complaint:
The defendants raised $14 million or more by promising monthly returns of 14 to 70 percent. The Morgans sent $4.5 million to Denmark, then sent it back to themselves in the United States.
The SEC says the defendants’ pitches “describe the operation of a class prime bank scheme.” They used apparently sophisticated, conspiratorial language to gull 150 or more victims.
“For example, some of these materials describe how the ‘top fifty financial institutions’ or the U.S. Federal Reserve trade with each other to ‘artificially inflate the money supply’ for international commerce. According to the offering materials distributed by Woodcock, participants were to provide money to supply ‘the margin’ for a trader to pass a ‘debenture or treasury’ to the end user, generating returns through the leveraging of financial instruments.
“The materials distributed by Woodcock stated that these programs were secret but real, even though the ‘official position’ of the U.S. government was that such trading programs did not exist so as ‘to increase the participation in traditional investments and reduce the flight of capital from the United States.”
After the fraud was discovered, Bowman and the Morgan “urged investors not to cooperate with the Commission or other authorities.”
John Morgan, of Sarasota, Fla., is the “fund manager” for Morgan European Holdings. His wife, Marian Morgan, is the “managing director.” Neither is associated with any registered broker dealer.
Morgan European Holdings ApS has addressed in Sarasota and Denmark. It has never been registered with the SEC.
Stephen Bowman, of Omaha, is the only principal of Bowman Marketing Group; he is not registered with the SEC. The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance issued a cease and desist order against Bowman and BMG on March 12.
Woodcock, of Woodberry, Texas, is the “managing director” of Woodberry Capital Investment, which has gone out of business.