SEC‘s Emergency Action
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has taken decisive action against a large-scale Ponzi scheme. They have obtained a temporary restraining order, asset freeze, and the appointment of a receiver to halt the operations of Agridime LLC and its owners, Josh Link and Jed Wood.
Details of the Alleged Scheme
Agridime LLC, based in Fort Worth, Texas, is accused of running a $191 million cattle Ponzi scheme. The company, which claimed to specialize in meat sales, distribution, and animal supply chain management, allegedly misled over 2,100 investors across at least 15 states.
Promises of High Returns
The SEC alleges that the defendants enticed investors with the promise of annual returns between 15-32 percent, offering investments related to the purchase and sale of cattle. However, the SEC claims that these promises were unfounded and part of the scheme to defraud investors.
Misuse of Investor Funds
The complaint suggests that instead of using the funds for cattle-related operations, at least $58 million of new investor funds were used to make payments to earlier investors. Additionally, more than $11 million was allegedly used to pay undisclosed sales commissions to the defendants and others involved.
Legal Charges and Court Proceedings
The defendants are charged with violating antifraud and registration provisions of the federal securities laws. The SEC is pursuing various legal remedies, including preliminary and permanent injunctions, disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and civil penalties. A hearing on the SEC’s motion for a preliminary injunction is scheduled for December 20, 2023.