Talk Show Host Bilked Customers, SEC Says

     SAN JOSE (CN) – With two cronies, radio talk-show host Barbra Alexander siphoned off $2.5 million from the $7 million she took from investors “through the fraudulent sale of interests in two real estate investment funds,” the SEC says. Alexander, the host of the financial show “MoneyDots,” paid herself and her minions “at least $30,000 a month” for “the second half of 2008 and all of 2009,” while they “failed to make any legitimate loans” as promised, the SEC says.




     Alexander, president of Monterey-based APS Funding, pulled off the scheme with help from Beth Piña and Michael Swanson, the SEC claims in Federal Court.
     Alexander promised 12 percent annual returns, as did Swanson, according to the complaint. Piña did not rope in suckers, but handled APS bookkeeping and sent out monthly checks and account statements, the SEC says. APS Funding is also named as a defendant.
     “In truth, a significant portion of the money invested did not fund short-term loans to third parties,” as promised, the SEC says. “Instead, over a third of investor funds – $2.5 million of the $7 million raised – was siphoned off by Alexander, Piña, and Swanson and funneled to themselves and the various entities they controlled. Alexander and the entities she controlled received $1.6 million, while Piña and Swanson and the entities they controlled equally split the remaining $900,000 of misappropriated funds.
     “For the second half of 2008 and all of 2009, while the three partners paid themselves at least $30,000 a month, APS Funding failed to make any legitimate loans. Instead, Alexander used investor funds to pay for her other businesses, home renovation, and for her radio shows, ‘MoneyDots.'”
     The SEC seeks disgorgement and penalties for “misappropriating investor assets, making materially false and misleading statements in connection with the purchase or sale of securities, and perpetrating a fraud on their investors.”
     It also wants to court to tell them not to do it again.

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