The SEC has charged a prominent San Diego-based financial advisor with fraud, accusing him and his firm of failing to disclose to clients a conflict of interest in an investment and lying to and misleading clients about a hedge fund he manages. Kevin O’Rourke, the suit’s target, is the founder and president of Western Pacific Capital Management in Del Mar, Calif. He was named a top wealth manager by San Diego magazine in 2008 and 2010.
The SEC suit alleges that O’Rourke urged his clients to invest in a non-public stock offering by another San Diego company called Ameranth. What he didn’t tell them is that his firm received 10% “success bonuses” for all the investments it brought in, the SEC claims. Ameranth is described in the SEC suit as a software provider to the hospitality, financial services and health care industries.
From 2005 to 2006, the suit alleges that Western Pacific earned $482,745 in success fees for raising $4,827,445 for the offering. The SEC further claims that O’Rourke was not registered as a broker-dealer when he was selling the shares.