Response to SEC Allegations

Because Google is so great at indexing my 2011 run-in with the SEC, I feel like I need to address it. Although, I suspect as time goes by, it will become less and less relevant.

Quick story:

In my early twenties, I met a much older man who I thought was dynamic, talented, and had a thriving business. Everyone who worked with him seemed to trust him. His business partner was honest and accomplished. His kids loved him. He had close friends. His family supported him and several family members worked for him. Even his ex-wife expressed her appreciation of him. I thought he was a good guy. We got married and he put all assets in my name, including a real estate investment firm he created.

I was unaware of the depth of his past indiscretions, which made him a target for the FBI (who ranks him high on their repeat fraudster list). About three years after we were married, the SEC came in and shut down my businesses and froze all my assets because of my husband’s involvement. Then the DOJ got involved and indicted both my husband and me for fraud.

I was convinced he was innocent. From my point of view our business dealings were legitimate and not meant to defraud and I had several attorneys telling me that everything was legal and that he was being unfairly targeted. So, I decided to “stand by my man” and he continued to use me as a shield to protect himself from the government.

At some point before the case ended—thankfully—I saw the light and realized just how much of a liar, manipulator, and cheater my husband was. And I filed for divorce. I also was able to work with the SEC to ensure they received our assets to be auctioned off so that the proceeds could be delivered to investors.

I am exceptionally grateful to the SEC for agreeing to set aside the monetary penalty against me. I’m also grateful to the DOJ and my attorney who were able to work out a favorable result for the case and get the indictment against me dismissed, allowing me to avoid a felony and any time in prison or on probation. I did, however, end up with a misdemeanor: Offer and Sale of Securities by an Unregistered Broker or Dealer Without Knowledge.

My ex-husband was sentenced to 41 months in prison for one count of money laundering and one count of wire fraud and fined $1,331,075. I’ve not spoken with him since our divorce in 2013 and I don’t intend to ever speak with him again.

At my final hearing, the Honorable Judge Shelby said that he believed me to be a victim of my ex-husband. I don’t have a history of deviant behavior (the worst offense before any of this was a speeding ticket) and I haven’t had any issues with the law since. Although I’ve made mistakes I’m certainly not proud of, I don’t believe this to be an indicator of future behavior.

It made me feel quite a bit better when I read in several books that a good sociopath can fleece just about anyone. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I was quite young when I met him and probably more naïve than I should have been.

Through this experience, I’ve come to the conclusion that most people are good. It’s better to be a giver, even if you occasionally get taken advantage of (but, certainly, set boundaries to ensure a taker doesn’t decimate you). And life seems to work out well when you have faith in the likelihood of a positive future (even if it doesn’t look like what you had imagined), learn from your mistakes, treat others with kindness, and surround yourself with loving people.

Below are some interesting books I’ve come across in my journey of study relating to this incident.