SEC accuses South Florida businessman of securities fraud, proposes $600,000 settlement.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has accused a Boca Raton area resident, a former dentist, of fraudulent practices in touting two of his companies, Apis Capital and My Loan Doctor.
The SEC filed a complaint in Charleston, South Carolina, federal civil court against Edgar Radjabli and the two companies, the filing location chosen because the SEC says that’s where Radjabli lived during the time in question. The SEC complaint says both companies are based in West Palm Beach, but Florida online records don’t list Apis Capital as registered to do business in the state.
Friday, the SEC announced a $600,000 settlement with Radjabli that’s subject to court approval. Without legally admitting to any fraudulent behavior, , Radjabli would pay $162,800 in disgorgement, $17,870 in prejudgment interest, and $419,330 in civil penalties.
No attorney is listed for Radjabli in the federal case system online. A Miami Herald call to Radjabli’s cell phone was answered by a screening service. Radjabli chose not to take the call. Radjabli was formerly a licensed dentist in New York and Maryland, according to online records.
Other active companies registered with Florida and showing Radjabli as agent are Seeds of Light Charities and PHX Analytics. Both use the Bocaire Country Club area address in unincorporated Palm Beach County where online county property records say Radjabli claims a homestead exemption.
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The Dentist and The Loan Doctor
The SEC settlement mostly focuses on My Loan Doctor and what the SEC called “a fradulent, unregistered public offering” of a high yield CD account said to pay a guaranteed 6% interest.
My Loan Doctor, the SEC said, took in $19.95 million of investor funds from August 2019 to April 2020.
“To promote Loan Doctor and bolster the company’s legitimacy, Radjabli engaged in additional deceptive conduct including the creation of a fictitious persona who purported to be Loan Doctor’s Chief Financial Officer and his creation of fake client testimonials on Loan Doctor’s website,” the SEC claimed. “Radjabli also posed as investors on the website Reddit and touted LoanDoctor.”
The SEC complaint says the offerings amounted to unregistered securities. The agency also says an Aug. 22, 2019 press release touted the financial and Lloyds of London insurance backing that made the investment “as safe as a savings account or CD” was “materially false and misleading.”
“Loan Doctor did not originate a single loan and only a small portion of investor funds were held in FDIC-insured accounts,” the complaint said. “Investor funds were also not insured by Lloyd’s of London. Instead, Loan Doctor used the bulk of the investor funds to make unsecured loans to several cryptocurrency lending firms as well as to make $1.79 million in loans to Apis Capital.”
Radjabli stopped accepting investor money in March 2020, the complaint says, and returned investor funds with interest. A New York federal case against Loan Doctor by the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection remains in progress.
My Loan Doctor is still listed as “active” on Florida’s Sunbiz.org website.
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Apis Capital and the alleged build up and sell off of Veritone stock
The SEC said Rajabli made $162,800 for Apis Capital with a ploy involving Veritone, a publicly-traded company. Radjabli and Apis announced via Dec. 10, 2018 a $200 million cash tender offer to buy Veritone.
On the forms required to be filed with the SEC, the complaint says, Radjabli and Apis said they had easily more than the offer price and already owned 5.03% of Veritone.
“In truth, the defendants lacked the financing, or any reasonable prospect of obtaining the financing, necessary to complete the deal, and Radjabli and Apis Capital owned only a 4.6% stake in Veritone,” the complaint said.
After the announcement and SEC filing, Veritone’s stock price jumped 41.4% at the open to $7.96 per share.
“Radjabli then capitalized on the scheme by selling Veritone securities and purchasing put options on behalf of Apis Capital and its affiliated fund,” the compalint said. “Ten days later, Radjabli and Apis Capital withdrew the supposed tender offer.”
The SEC said Radjabli’s first scheme involved “a fraudulent offering of Apis Tokens, a digital asset purportedly representing tokenized interests in Apis Capital’s main investment fund.”
A June 2018 press release “claimed falsely that the offering had raised $1.7 million when, in fact, it had raised no money. This misrepresentation was material. Following this misrepresentation, they raised approximately $36,000 from foreign investors.”
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