Portland, Or. – The U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Portland accusing Aequitas Capital Management of Lake Oswego of running a multi million dollar Ponzi scheme. It claims the firm used money from new investors to pay off old investors. It has asked the court to appoint a receiver and has removed the top three company executives.
The firm’s co-founder, Bob Jesenik, released a statement through his attorney. It reads in part, “the company took steps to ensure the investors’ interests continue to be protected by reaching an agreement with the SEC to ask a federal judge to appoint a respected consulting firm, engaged by the company last month, as a receiver for the company.” It says Jesenik “is disappointed the SEC has also chosen to rush to judgement about the company’s management and make sweeping allegations without the benefit of a thorough investigation.”
Portland attorney Bob Banks represents 15 investors, including an 80 year old man in assisted living and a couple in their 50’s trying to save college money for their kids. He says “I think its probably going to be the biggest investment loss from a scheme based in Oregon, maybe in Oregon’s history.” He says claims could exceed $100 million dollars.