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SEC Claims SoCal|Man Ran Ponzi Scam

SAN DIEGO (CN) - A 42-year-old man from Carlsbad, Calif., ran three Ponzi schemes that suckered people for $1.6 million, the SEC claims in Federal Court.

The SEC sued Steven L. Hamilton and his three companies, Verde Retirement LLC, Verde FX Nevada LLC, both based in San Diego, and Covenant Capital Partners dba Covenant Real Estate Funds, of Encinitas.

Both Carlsbad and Encinitas are wealthy northern coastal suburbs of San Diego.

Hamilton took more than $1.6 million from at least 23 investors, the SEC says in its complaint. He claimed he would put the money into real estate loans, and into building a so-called FedEx distribution facility in Nevada.

But he used the money "to pay his personal living expenses," the SEC said. He doled some out in Ponzi payments, but he "never invested any investor money in real estate loans ... or in the construction of a new FedEx distribution facility in Nevada," according to the complaint.

The SEC seeks disgorgement and penalties, and it wants Hamilton told not to do it again.

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