(HedgeCo.Net) The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a complaint in federal court in Minnesota alleging that Robyn A. Bowman and her company Phoenix Asset Group, LLC perpetrated a fraudulent offering.
The SEC’s complaint alleges that Bowman and Phoenix raised at least $2.7 million by selling Phoenix securities to at least 20 investors by telling them that Phoenix would use their money to purchase portfolios of distressed debt that Phoenix would place with third-party agencies for collection and that Phoenix would use the money generated by the debt collection to pay investors annual returns up to 15%, plus a share in Phoenix’s debt collection profits.
To entice investors, the complaint alleges, Bowman and Phoenix lied about the safety of the investments including telling them that investor money would be “used only for business purposes” when, in reality, Bowman commingled her personal finances with Phoenix’s and used Phoenix’s bank accounts to pay for her own personal expenditures. Bowman and Phoenix likewise diverted money from certain new investors to repay earlier investors according to the complaint.
The complaint further alleges that Bowman and Phoenix told investors that the debt portfolios would be insured and audited, that Bowman and Phoenix had never been sued in a consumer protection lawsuit, and that these statements were untrue. Bowman also allegedly touted her credentials and business acumen to investors while concealing that she had filed for bankruptcy twice before.
The complaint alleges that by April 2020, Phoenix had stopped making payments to investors and that Bowman tried blaming the stopped payments on the COVID pandemic and one of the collection agencies she hired. The complaint further alleges that Bowman continued soliciting new investments despite stopping payments to earlier investors and attempted to placate investors by falsely telling them Phoenix was ready to receive an $8 million cash influx from an Italian hedge fund.