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This Ponzi Is Over,|SEC Tells Floridian

MIAMI (CN) - A federal judge granted the SEC's request to freeze the assets of an unregistered Fort Lauderdale investment adviser who's raised $17 million in the past 15 months, the SEC said.

Frederick Elm, 45, "misappropriated at least $2 million in investor funds to pay for a $1.75 million home, high-end home furnishings and other personal items such as automobiles, jewelry, and daily living expenses," the SEC said in its lawsuit.

That's more than the 2 percent management fee Elm said he would charge, the SEC said. The SEC calls it a Ponzi scheme.

It sued Frederic Elm fka Frederic Elmaleh, his businesses Elm Tree Investment Advisors, Elm Tree Investment Fund, Elm Tree 'e'Conomy Fund, Elm Tree Motion Opportunity, and Elm's wife, Amanda Elm fka Amanda Elmaleh, on Jan. 15 in Federal Court.

A federal judge granted the asset freeze on Jan. 16, the SEC said.

Elm's financial sins included telling investors his 'e'Conomy Fund was worth $125 million in November 2014, though it actually had only $3.2 million, according to the SEC.

It claims that Elm passed along more than $100,000 of his investors' money to his wife, Amanda, 28, and that she paid nearly $20,000 of her student loans with investors' money.

The SEC seeks disgorgement, restitution and penalties.

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