An unlicensed advisor in Penns Grove, New Jersey, was indicted after scamming about 122 clients out of more than $2.1 million, according to William M. McSwain, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Alexander S. Rowland, 29, was charged with seven counts of mail fraud, 30 counts of wire fraud, one count of bank fraud, one count of securities fraud, one count of investment advisor fraud and two counts of money laundering related to a scam in which he claimed to be an investment advisor, McSwain said.
The indictment was unsealed Tuesday after being filed Sept. 22 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
The indictment said Rowland, a former warehouse operator, started the company Roaring Investments, which he initially ran out of his apartment, in July 2016.
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The defendant told potential investors he was a licensed investment advisor who would invest their money in stocks and cryptocurrency, and promised them a minimum rate of return of 25%, with potential returns of 50% or higher, the indictment alleged. Through those and other misrepresentations, Rowland was able to trick his victims into investing nearly $3 million in Roaring Investments, according to the indictment.
In reality, however, Rowland did not hold any licenses to sell securities of offer investment advice and, instead of investing all his clients’ money in securities and crypto, he pocketed much of it, the indictment alleged.