The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced charges against an investment adviser 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 J. 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 described his trading strategy as safe and successful. In reality, rather than investing these funds, he allegedly used investor money to pay mounting personal debt and personal expenses.
In 2014, Fixelle and a company he controlled, Genesis Advisory Services Corp., were charged by the Commission with violations of Rule 105 of Regulation M. Among other sanctions, they agreed to pay disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and civil penalties of over $1.5 million.
Fraud often occurs where investors least expect it – with close friends, family members, and in trust-based communities,”said Marc P. Berger, Regional Director of the SEC’s New York Office. “Investors are encouraged to use publicly available tools to gather information about individuals who are attempting to sell them securities.
The SEC’s Retail Strategy Task Force and Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) encourage investors to check the background of anyone selling or offering them an investment using the free and simple search tool on Investor.gov. Investors can also use the SALI feature to find information about certain people who have had judgments or orders issued against them in SEC court actions or administrative proceedings.
The SEC’s complaint, filed in federal district court in New Jersey, charges Fixelle, Genesis, and another company he controlled, Aurora Capital Management LLC, with violating the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws.
The SEC’s continuing investigation is being conducted by Janna Berke, Andrew Dean, Kerri Palen, Richard G. Primoff, and Sandeep Satwalekar and supervised by Lara Shalov Mehraban. The SEC’s litigation will be led by Ms. Berke, Mr. Dean, and Mr. Primoff. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.