SEC Charges Nevada-Based Investment Adviser for Conducting Fraudulent “Cherry-Picking” Scheme

(HedgeCo.Net) The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Steve Susoeff, LLC (dba Meritage Financial Group), a Henderson, Nevada-based investment adviser, and Steven J. Susoeff, its sole owner and principal, for conducting a cherry-picking scheme that defrauded their clients.

According to the SEC’s complaint, from January 2021 through July 2021, Susoeff placed securities trades using Meritage’s omnibus trading account, which is intended to facilitate purchases of securities for multiple client accounts. As alleged, Hobbs placed the securities trades early in the trading day but did not allocate the trades to specific clients or Susoeff’s personal accounts until later in the day. The complaint alleges that Susoeff disproportionately allocated profitable trades to himself and two favored clients and unprofitable trades to his other clients’ accounts.

The SEC’s complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada, charges Susoeff and Meritage with violating the antifraud provisions of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rules 10b-5(a) and (c) thereunder, Sections 17(a)(1) and (3) of the Securities Act of 1933, and Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. The complaint seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement with prejudgment interest, and civil penalties.

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