The Securities and Exchange Commission Announced Charges Against Broker For Allegedly Defrauding Investors Wanting to Invest in Social Media Companies

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In a press release dated December 23, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced charges against Efstratios (a.k.a. “Elias”) Argyropoulos and his firm Prima Capital Group, a Santa Barbara, California stock promoter.   The SEC alleges that Argyropoulos and Prima Capital violated the antifraud and broker-dealer registration provisions of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

According to the SEC, Argyropoulos and Prima Capital solicited investors to invest in high-profile social media companies prior to their initial public offerings (IPO).  They allegedly raised nearly $3.5 million from investors, but instead of using the funds to purchase shares of the social media companies, they allegedly secretly used the funds to finance his own day trading activities.  The SEC also alleges that Argyropoulos used some of the funds to “pay off” certain investors who complained when they did not receive shares as promised.

According to the SEC Argyropoulos has agreed to settle the charges, including an agreement to be barred from working in the investment business, as either a stockbroker or financial adviser.  Financial penalties are expected, but will be determined later.