SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – The SEC says it has obtained an emergency court order to stop Hillsborough “investment adviser” Robert C. Brown Jr. from stealing more money. The SEC says Brown and his Trebor Co. conned more than $20 million from 200 investors and spent nearly all of it on himself. “Brown held himself out as a securities expert, when essentially all he did was steal money from his clients,” the SEC’s Regional Director Marc Fagel said.
Brown, formerly of Vallejo, promised “astronomical returns” from stock investments – for instance, promising to double their money in 8 months – but put only $4 million of the more than $20 million he raised into a brokerage account – and it was his personal account, which he “treated as his own piggy bank,” the SEC said.
Brown spent the money on a Ferrari, limos, shopping and other fripperies, and doled out some to old investors in a classic Ponzi scheme, the SEC said in its federal lawsuit. It claims Brown has run the scheme since 2000, and put off some unhappy investors by claiming the Patriot Act caused delays in payments, and that the SEC had “cleared” him of wrongdoing.
The SEC names Duane Eddings, CDC Global and Wise Investors Simply Excel as relief defendants. A hearing is set for Aug. 5.