Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin charged Stephen S. Eubanks and his company with engaging in a Ponzi scheme that took at least $529,000 from investors, according to the complaint.

Eubanks, of Hingham, Massachusetts, acted as an unregistered investment adviser and sold unregistered securities, the complaint also charges.

Since October 2011, Eubanks presented himself as a successful hedge fund manager, operating a limited liability company Eubiquity Capital. He promised to invest in stocks, options and other securities, but he used $145,000 to finance his lifestyle, and another $140,000 to repay earlier investors, calling that money return on their investment, the complaint outlined.

“This operation, almost a textbook Ponzi scheme, took advantage of the trust of friends and family, and my office will move swiftly to put an end to it,” Galvin said in a statement. “It serves as a reminder that any investor should check on the credentials of anyone offering investment opportunities. In this instance, the man had none.”

What money Eubanks did invest, he lost, according to the complaint.

“Over the past six months alone, Eubanks has solicited at least $75,000 from new investors in an attempt to prevent his Ponzi scheme from collapsing,” the complaint states.

However, according to the complaint, none of that money was invested, rather used for personal expenses or to pay earlier investors.

“Eubanks’ scheme preys upon the trust placed in him by his investors, most of whom consider Eubanks to be a close and trusted friend,” the complaint said.

Known victims included friends, neighbors, a college roommate, and the elderly father of a college fraternity brother.

The complaint seeks to permanently bar Eubanks and his company from the securities business in Massachusetts, and calls for restitution to the investors for losses attributable to the alleged wrongdoing. It also calls for a cease and desist order, along with censure and an administrative fine.

CFP Board Imposes Interim Suspension on Ash Narayan

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) has imposed an interim suspension against Ash Narayan, of Irvine, California, effective October 25, 2016, according to an announcement.

The interim suspension of Narayan’s right to use the CFPcertification marks was issued by the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission at its October 2016 meeting after discovering that Narayan was named as the primary defendant in a Securities and Exchange Commission complaint alleging that he defrauded investors, misappropriated client funds, misrepresented his professional qualifications, failed to meet his fiduciary obligations and violated his company’s Code of Ethics.

Firm and Partner Charged With Issuing Fraudulent Audit Reports

A New York-based audit firm and a senior partner agreed to settle charges that they issued fraudulent audit reports in connection with municipal bond offerings by the town of Ramapo, N.Y., and its local development corporation, according to the SEC order.

The SEC’s order finds that PKF O’Connor Davies and Domenick F. Consolo allowed Ramapo to record a $3.08 million receivable in its general fund for a property sale that Consolo knew had not occurred.

Audit Partner Charged in Failed Audits of Venture Capital Fund

The SEC announced proceedings against a PricewaterhouseCoopers audit partner who served as engagement partner for the independent audits of a venture capital fund.

According to the SEC order, Adrian D. Beamish, who is based in San Jose, California, failed to scrutinize millions of dollars taken from Burrill Life Sciences Capital Fund III in related party transactions under the guise of ”advanced” management fees.

Company Co-Founder Charged in Manipulation Scheme

The SEC charged Ryan Gilbertson, the co-founder of a Minnesota-based energy company, with manipulating its stock price and concealing his control of the company to attain lucrative financial payouts. 

According to the SEC’s complaint, Gilbertson allegedly hatched and orchestrated the “elaborate scheme” to secretly siphon millions of dollars from Dakota Plains Holdings, which operates an oil-shipping rail facility in North Dakota.  Gilbertson founded the company with Michael Reger, who agreed to pay nearly $8 million to settle separate charges against him.  Three others also are charged in the case.

— Related on ThinkAdvisor: