Securities arbitration lawyers are investigating potential claims on behalf of investors who suffered significant losses as a result of the alleged fraud committed by Burton Douglas Morriss. An announcement by the Securities and Exchange Commission stated that the SEC has obtained emergency relief, including the appointment of a receiver and an asset freeze, and has filed charges against several St. Louis, Missouri management companies and private investment funds. According to the complaint, the principal of these entities, Burton Douglas Morriss, allegedly misappropriated investor assets totaling more than $9 million.
The complaint, which was filed in the St. Louis federal court, states that between 2003 and 2011, Morriss, Acartha Group LLC and MIC VII LLC raised a minimum of $88 million from at least 97 investors. According to the SEC’s allegations, Morriss’ investors were told that their money would be invested in a portfolio of technology companies and financial services by his private management companies and investment funds. However, stock fraud lawyers say, investors were unaware that over the last several years, their money had been misappropriated by Morriss. Millions of dollars were allegedly misappropriated through fraudulent transfers to himself and an entity under his control, Morriss Holdings LLC. Securities arbitration lawyers say these funds were allegedly used for personal expenses including pleasure trips, household expenses, mortgage payments, alimony payments and personal loan payments. Allegedly, Morriss concealed his fraud by later disguising the fraudulent transfers as personal loans.
Another allegation included in the SEC’s complaint is that Morriss orchestrated a scheme to recruit investors to invest in membership interests in a private investment fund he owned, which would dilute the fund’s current investors’ investments, without the required unanimous consent of current investors.
If you were a customer with Burton Douglas Morriss, you may be able to recover losses incurred as a result of his fraud. To find out more about your legal rights and options, contact a stock fraud lawyer at The Law Office of Christopher J. Gray at (866) 966-9598 for a no-cost, confidential consultation.