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SEC Charges Advisor With Stealing From Friends, Community Members

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The Securities and Exchange Commission said Wednesday that it brought charges against an investment advisor with a history of violating the securities laws for defrauding his close friends and community members.

According to the SEC’s complaint filed Tuesday, from at least 2014 through at least 2017, Bruce Fixelle solicited investments from close friends he met through a local community organization, telling them that he was going to invest their money in initial and secondary offerings, which he would then sell before the end of the trading day.

Fixelle, 58, resides in Hillsdale, New Jersey, and is the principal of Aurora Capital Management LLC and Genesis Advisory Services Corp. Genesis, a Delaware limited liability company with its principal place of business in Hillsdale, is an unregistered investment advisory firm.

In 2014, Fixelle and Genesis were charged by the commission with violations of Rule 105 of Regulation M, an antifraud rule involving pre-offering short sales. Among other sanctions, they agreed to pay disgorgement, prejudgment interest and civil penalties of over $1.5 million.

The SEC encouraged investors to use the SEC Action Lookup for Individuals, or SALI, the searchable database launched in May that allows investors to find information on brokers and advisors with a judgment or order against them in an enforcement action.

SALI is designed to help identify registered and unregistered individuals who have been parties to past SEC enforcement actions and against whom federal courts have entered judgments or the SEC has issued orders.

Fixelle used some of the investor money to make payments on personal credit cards, a personal loan, and to pay his mortgage and health insurance premiums.

The complaint states that he was using investor funds to pay his debts, personal expenses, and by at least 2016, to repay at least one other investor.

“Fixelle never disclosed to his prospective or existing investors his personal or business financial problems, or his intention and practice of misappropriating their funds, until long after they invested with him,” the complaint states. “On the contrary, Fixelle actively sought to deceive them through periodic account statements that he knowingly falsified, and which falsely purported to show positive returns. Fixelle succeeded in inducing at least two investors … into providing him with more than $300,000 since 2014 through these fraudulent misrepresentations and omissions.”

Marc Berger, regional director of the SEC’s New York Office, said in a statement that “fraud often occurs where investors least expect it — with close friends, family members, and in trust-based communities. Investors are encouraged to use publicly available tools to gather information about individuals who are attempting to sell them securities.”


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