This running SEC Trial Scorecard tracks the SEC's trials and outcomes for FY 2015. To date in FY 2015, which began on October 1, 2014, the SEC has now had five trials in federal court reach a verdict (see the full list below). The most recent verdict was reached on April 1 by a federal jury in the Southern District of Florida in the case of SEC v. Levin, in which the SEC alleged that George Levin and another man named Frank Preve "provided the biggest influx of investor funds" into one of the largest-ever Ponzi schemes in South Florida.
According to the SEC, Levin and Preve raised more than $157 million from over 150 investors in less than two years by issuing promissory notes from Levin's company and interests in a private investment fund they operated. The funds raised were used to purchase discounted legal settlements from former Florida attorney Scott Rothstein. However, the SEC alleged, the
settlements Rothstein sold were not real and the supposed plaintiffs and defendants did not exist. Rothstein simply used the funds in classic Ponzi scheme fashion to make payments due other investors and support his lavish lifestyle. Rothstein's Ponzi scheme collapsed in October 2009, and he is currently serving a 50-year prison sentence.
The SEC alleged that Levin and Preve misrepresented to investors that they had procedural safeguards in place to protect investors "when in fact they often purchased settlements without first seeing any legal documents or doing anything to verify that the settlement proceeds were actually in Rothstein's bank accounts."
On April 1, after a jury trial before U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro, the jury found Levin liable on all five counts against him, the South Florida Business Journal reports. Preve, who had previously settled with the SEC and pleaded guilty to related criminal charges, testified against Levin in the trial. Levin was not charged with any crimes related to the Ponzi scheme, the Sun Sentinel reports.
Overall, the SEC's scorecard in FY 2015 now includes five trials. In three trials, the SEC won on all of its claims, and in two trials the verdict was mixed. Here is the list as it currently stands:
SEC v. iShopNoMarkup.com, Inc.: VERDICT—FOR SEC (Oct. 2014)
SEC v. Kokesh: VERDICT—FOR SEC (Nov. 2014)
SEC v. BankAtlantic Bancorp, Inc. and Alan B. Levan: VERDICT—MIXED (Dec. 2014)
SEC v. Heart Tronic: VERDICT—MIXED (March 2015)
SEC v. Levin: VERDICT—FOR SEC (April 2015)