The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced fraud charges against a Niles, Illinois businesswoman accused of misappropriating investor funds.
The SEC’s complaint, filed in federal court in the Northern District of Illinois, alleges that Lucita A. Zamoras solicited investors for a promissory note program and subsequently misappropriated the investors’ funds. From at least October 2009 through December 2013, Zamoras engaged in a fraudulent scheme in which she raised approximately $727,049 from at least six investors by encouraging them to transfer their retirement accounts to self-directed individual retirement accounts and purchase promissory notes issued by her. Zamoras, originally from the Philippines, preyed on other Filipino investors by convincing the investors to purchase the notes, which offered them 3.5% to 5% annual interest. The SEC complaint alleges that Zamoras never invested her clients’ funds; instead she used the money to support her gambling habit and pay other personal expenses.
The SEC’s complaint charges Zamoras with violating Sections 17(a)(1) and 17(a)(3) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5(a) and (c) thereunder. The complaint seeks injunctive relief, disgorgement, prejudgment interest and a civil penalty against the Zamoras.
The SEC’s investigation was conducted by Paul Feindt and Scott Frost. The SEC’s litigation will be led by Daniel Wadley and Amy Oliver.