The US Securities and Exchange Commission has brought fraud charges against two men and their company, United Business Alliance, LLC, for allegedly running a prime bank investment scam. The regulator is seeking permanent injunctions, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, prejudgment interest, and civil penalties.
According to the regulator’s complaint, between 10/2013 and 7/2015, George Frank Polera and Anthony Joseph Marino, through United Business Alliance, took part in a fraudulent prime bank scam, raising over $615k from 10 investors. The two men lacked the registration required to sell investments.
The two men, who are based in Las Vegas, and their company allegedly promised investors huge return rates, including 90% every two weeks for 40 weeks on one investment and 84% per year on one note. Investors were sold securities that were either promissory notes or investment contracts.
The SEC accused the two men of running a Ponzi-like scam to pay investors and also misappropriating some of the funds. Of the money they invested, just $253,500 was returned.
Prime Bank Investment Fraud
In 2015, the SEC sent out an alert to investors stating that “all ‘prime bank’ investments are fraudulent.” Promoters of prime bank investments usually tell investors that their money will be used to purchase and trade prime bank instruments and that they will receive high investment returns for their money.
The Commission said that prime bank investments, in fact, “do not exist.”
Unfortunately, it is common for promoters of this type of fraud to falsely claim that the investments were traded, issued, or guaranteed by a well-known organization, a private bank, an international bank, or a trust that is based overseas. Investment opportunities in these prime bank securities may even be touted as only for rich investors.
Read the SEC Complaint (PDF)