(HedgeCo.Net) The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Jebara Igbara, the founder of Halal Capital LLC, in connection with a more than $8 million scheme that targeted investors from the New York metropolitan area’s Muslim community.
According to the SEC’s complaint filed in federal court in Brooklyn, Igbara (a.k.a. Jay Mazini) started Halal Capital in October 2019 with the goal of sharing his purported investment expertise with members of his Muslim community. As part of his alleged scheme, Igbara offered investors promissory notes that claimed to offer guaranteed, significant returns on investments in Halal Capital. The complaint alleges that Igbara obtained about $8 million from investors and promised to invest the funds in Quran-compliant investments, such as being pooled for the purchase of wholesale goods for resale, including electronics and personal protective equipment (“PPE”). However, Igbara misappropriated all of the investor’s funds to make Ponzi-like payments to Halal Capital investors or for his personal use, including to purchase luxury vehicles and expensive jewelry or to pay off gambling debts.
“As alleged in the complaint, more than a dozen investors in the Muslim community were targeted in this Ponzi-like scheme whose purpose was to enrich the defendant,” said Sheldon Pollock, Associate Director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office. “The Division of Enforcement remains steadfast in pursuing fraud where individuals seek to exploit the trust from fellow members in a community.”
The SEC’s complaint charges Igbara with violations of the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws. Igbara has consented to the entry of a judgment that imposes a permanent injunction and monetary relief to be determined at a later date. The settlement is subject to court approval.
In a parallel action concerning the same conduct, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York today announced criminal charges against Igbara.
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy reminds investors to thoroughly research investments and warns them about making investment decisions based solely on shared affinity. Additional information is available at investor.gov.