SEC joins CFTC in charging SwapStar Capital with fraud

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged a New Jersey-based individual with stealing money from investment advisory clients, and doing so while he was subject to a prior SEC order barring him from being in the investment advisory business. The SEC action is announced as the CFTC has also taken action against the same defendants.

The SEC’s complaint, filed in the New Jersey District Court, alleges that Swapnil J. Rege and his company SwapStar Capital, LLC solicited Rege’s friends, neighbors, and other referrals to be the defendants’ investment advisory clients. Rege and SwapStar allegedly misrepresented to their clients that client money would be invested in securities for guaranteed returns. According to the SEC’s complaint, Rege and SwapStar instead used client money to pay fictitious gains to other clients, to return original investment amounts to other clients, and to pay for some of Rege’s personal expenses.

The complaint alleges that Rege engaged in the alleged misconduct even after the SEC had barred him, in a 2019 SEC order, from associating with an investment adviser and ordered him to cease and desist from further violations of certain anti-fraud provisions in the Advisers Act. The complaint alleges that Rege acted as an investment adviser in violation of the bar against him. Further, according to the SEC’s complaint, Rege failed to disclose to his advisory clients that he had been barred from associating with an investment adviser.

The complaint charges Rege and SwapStar with violating the antifraud provisions of Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Advisers Act. It also charges Rege with violating Section 203(f) of the Advisers Act and seeks court enforcement of the 2019 SEC order pursuant to Section 209(d) of the Advisers Act.

The complaint seeks a preliminary injunction, asset freeze, and other emergency and ancillary relief. The SEC also seeks further injunctive relief, disgorgement of ill-gotten monetary gains plus interest, and penalties. The complaint names as a relief defendant Rege’s wife, Reema Rege, and alleges that her accounts received proceeds of the alleged fraud.

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