The Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday announced fraud charges and an asset freeze against a Utah-based retirement plan administrator who the agency says squandered more than $22 million of investor funds on high-risk investments.
The SEC alleges that American Pension Services Inc. (APS) and its founder, president and CEO Curtis L. DeYoung, defrauded investors in self-directed individual retirement accounts (IRAs), causing them to lose millions of dollars of savings.
DeYoung, the SEC says, hid the losses by issuing inflated account statements, allowing him to continue collecting fees and further victimizing his customers.
“This misconduct jeopardized retirement security for thousands of APS customers,” said Karen L. Martinez, director of the SEC’s Salt Lake Regional Office, in a statement.
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According to the SEC’s complaint, unsealed Tuesday in federal court in Salt Lake City, DeYoung’s scheme dates back to at least 2005 and targeted customers with retirement accounts holding nontraditional assets typically not available through traditional 401(k) retirement plans or other IRA custodians.