The SEC has obtained an emergency court order to freeze the assets of St. Louis-based private investment funds and management firms after suing them and their principal for a scheme to defraud investors. It is alleged that the principal diverted more than $9 million of investors’ money to himself without their knowledge or consent. He recorded the transfers as ‘loans” in his companies’ books. He raised $88 million from investors who were told their funds would be invested in emerging financial services and technology companies.
“Morriss attempted to hide his illegal transfers of investor funds by calling them ‘loans’ when in reality he had no intention of paying back the money and instead went on a spending spree,” said Eric I. Bustillo, Director of the SEC’s Miami Regional Office. “It is fraud, pure and simple.”
SEC Obtains Emergency Relief Against St. Louis-Based Private Investment Funds after Charging Them and Their Principal with Fraud