News

MV company charged with fraud by SEC

The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged a Mountain View firm and five of its officers for allegedly defrauding investors of $17 million.

JSW Financial allegedly used money from investors in two real estate funds to prop up the firm's own failing real estate developments, while concealing the losses, according to the SEC's complaint, filed in federal district court in San Francisco on Tuesday, March 22.

"The defendants told investors, many of whom were seniors, that their investments were safe because they were being used for secured real estate loans," said Marc Fagel, director of the SEC's San Francisco Regional Office. "They betrayed investors' trust and squandered nearly all of investors' money trying to keep their own failing operations afloat."

The alleged fraud took place from 2002 to 2008, and involved JSW and its predecessor, Jim Ward & Associates, according to the SEC. Instead of putting investors' money into secured residential real estate, the company's officers used most of the money to make "unsecured and undocumented loans to entities that the officers themselves controlled, which were suffering mounting losses and protracted delays on Silicon Valley real estate development projects," the SEC charged. Despite the losses, investors received monthly statements showing steady growth in the value of their portfolios.

JSW founder James S. Ward and Edward G. Locker, both of Ohio, and David S. Lee, Richard F. Tipton and David C. Lin, all Silicon Valley residents, are named as defendants in the case. The SEC also alleges that Ward and Locker together took $900,000 of investor money to purchase homes for themselves.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Marshall
a resident of Whisman Station
on Mar 23, 2011 at 1:37 pm

I hope all involved get a "new home" in prison!

Scumbag thieves!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ha...ha...ha
a resident of Whisman Station
on Mar 23, 2011 at 2:16 pm

And to think, if the whole RE industry hadn't collapsed, these guys would still be in business, continuing to lie and steal from hard working Americans. I for one am glad that the system has a way of cleansing itself (correcting itself) from time to root out all the bad apples. Guys, say hello to Madoff, you guys have a lot in common.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Becca
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 23, 2011 at 6:54 pm

So, what you're saying is, that these guys did exactly what thousands of bank and investment firm thieves did, but since they don't have the word "Bank" in their title, they go to jail!!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by ann
a resident of another community
on Mar 24, 2011 at 9:39 am

becca....you are so right......


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John the Man
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 24, 2011 at 9:38 pm

What a coincidence: Primary Global Research is housed in that same office building (1975 West El Camino). PGR and a bunch of their managers are under investigation for insider trading. One of their crooks just plead guilty and it turning snitch.

Maybe there is something about that office building....


 +   Like this comment
Posted by jupiiterk
a resident of Gemello
on Mar 28, 2011 at 4:35 pm

based on the comments from the few, it seems to me people think that only PRG is involved in these kinds of things. If anyone has been reading the news lately about Rajat Gupta (a director of P&G and Goladman Sachs) and many other insiders from other companies who have pleaded guilty should know better because lot of the execs with privileged info do share with relatives and friends and they are obviously profitting from it. It is very hard to catch all these cases because it is too expensive and almost impossible to scrutinize every transaction and the reason behind them. I think companies out to teach their execs and regular employees to be more ethical on a yearly basis so that they are aware of the consequences of leaking company secrets.


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