Friday, October 21, 2011

SEC Charges California-based Investment Adviser with Fraud and Breach of Fiduciary Duty

On October 18, 2011, the SEC filed a complaint in United States District Court in Riverside, California against Copeland Wealth Management (a financial advisory corporation), Copeland Wealth Management (a real estate corporation), and a certified public accountant (Copeland's founder), for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty. As an investment adviser registered with the SEC, the financial advisory corporation manages approximately $125 million in assets under management. The assets under management are primarily mutual funds and real estate funds. The involved real estate company, an unregistered investment adviser, is the general partner for 21 limited partnerships primarily invested in real estate. Lastly, the certified public accountant involved, is the founder, co-owner and officer of both the corporation and the real estate company.

It is alleged that the three parties made material misrepresentations and omissions regarding: the use of investor funds, conflicts of interest, guaranteed returns, the unauthorized trading of put options, and the payment of undisclosed real estate commissions and other related compensation. The parties have not yet admitted or denied the allegations.