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SEC Freezes Funds of ‘Investment Adviser’

NASHVILLE (CN) - The SEC says an "investment adviser" bilked clients of more than $6.5 million. The agency has frozen the accounts of Gordon Grigg and his ProTrust Management companies, who allegedly claimed they could invest in the federal Troubled Asset Relief Program and other securities that do not exist.

The SEC obtained the emergency court order on Wednesday, after claiming that Grigg bilked at least 27 "clients," including two Air Force pilots, by falsely claiming to have ties to top investment firms, including Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.

Gordon claimed he would put the money in "private placements" that offered safe returns, but those private placements do not exist, the SEC says.

The agency says Grigg provided his clients with fraudulent account statements that reflected ownership of the nonexistent securities. And it says that Grigg falsely claimed that his company could government-guaranteed commercial paper and bank debt as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Neither Grigg nor his companies are registered with the SEC or any state regulator, the agency says. From 1989 until 2002 Grigg was a registered representative with broker-dealers that were registered with the SEC, but he was discharged for multiple compliance violations, according to the complaint.

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