May 11, 2022/US SEC
On May 4, 2022, Brenda Smith, a Pennsylvania investment adviser charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission with defrauding investors and who previously pled guilty to securities fraud, was sentenced to 109 months in prison and ordered to pay $47.2 million in restitution in a parallel criminal case.
The criminal charges against Smith arose from the same conduct alleged in the SEC’s complaint against Smith and entities she controlled, defendants Broad Reach Capital, LP, Broad Reach Partners, LLC, and Bristol Advisors, LLC. The SEC’s complaint alleged that Smith and her fund Broad Reach Capital, LP, raised approximately $105 million from approximately 40 investors by representing that she would invest their money in publicly traded securities through various trading strategies that she championed as providing consistently high returns. However, the complaint alleges that Smith made very few investments in these trading strategies, and instead largely used investors’ money to repay other investors and for her own personal investments. The complaint alleges further that Smith, and the entities she controlled, disseminated false statements touting positive returns and fabricated documents in an attempt to inflate Broad Reach’s assets and lull investors into believing their capital was safe. At the time it filed the complaint, the SEC also obtained an emergency asset freeze and later obtained a preliminary injunction extending the freeze. Subsequently, upon the SEC’s motion, the Court appointed a Receiver over the entity defendants and other related entities. The SEC’s civil action remains pending.