The Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday filed a subpoena enforcement action against another individual it said it believes to have been involved in a Ponzi-like scheme that raised more than $345 million from over 230 investors, some of whom were current and former pro athletes, retirees and financial advisors.
The Monday action against Michael Staisil of New York was filed by the SEC in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, seeking an order directing him to comply with an investigative subpoena for testimony.
According to the SEC’s application, its investigation concerned the same alleged Ponzi-like scheme that led it, on Sept. 13, 2018, to file an emergency action in federal district court in Baltimore against Kevin Merrill, Jay Ledford, Cameron Jezierski, and certain entities owned or controlled by Merrill or Ledford to halt the scheme.
In its ongoing investigation, the SEC now “has reason to believe that Staisil may have worked on behalf of Merrill in raising millions of dollars from numerous individual and institutional investors,” the SEC said Tuesday.
The SEC is investigating whether Staisil “engaged in deceptive or other unlawful conduct in raising money from those investors,” the regulator said.
In July 2019, the SEC issued a subpoena to Staisil requiring him to appear for investigative testimony. After Staisil failed to appear, in November 2019, the SEC issued a second testimony subpoena to Staisil, which Staisil also ignored, the regulator said.
The SEC’s application seeks an order compelling Staisil to comply fully with the subpoena. Meanwhile, the SEC is “continuing in its fact-finding investigation and, to date, has not concluded that anyone has violated the law other than the individuals and entities that have previously been charged,” it said.