SEC Obtains Final Judgment in Offering Fraud

November 20, 2020/US SEC

On November 20, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina entered final consent judgments against Mark N. Pyatt and Winston Reed Investments LLC in connection with their roles in a fraudulent investment scheme.

The SEC’s complaint alleged that, beginning in April 2017, Winston Reed and Pyatt raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from retail investors by representing they would use a sophisticated trading strategy to trade in futures contracts, foreign exchange, and stocks. Instead, Pyatt allegedly used the vast majority of investor money for personal expenses, including vehicles and jewelry. The complaint further alleged that Pyatt provided investors with false and misleading reports purporting to show substantial returns based on his trading.

Winston Reed and Pyatt consented to final judgments permanently enjoining them from violating the antifraud provisions of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. Pyatt and Winston Reed also agreed to pay, jointly and severally, disgorgement of $255,850, subject to offset by amounts paid as restitution in a parallel criminal case against Pyatt where Pyatt pled guilty to one count of wire fraud and was sentenced to 37 months imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release. The Court previously dismissed relief defendant Daniel G. Randolph.

The SEC’s investigation was conducted by Jacqueline M. Moessner, and supervised by Mary S. Brady and Jason J. Burt. The litigation was led by Leslie J. Hughes, and supervised by Gregory A. Kasper.

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