The founder and CEO of Accanito Capital Group has been accused of carrying out a Ponzi scheme that totaled some $35 million.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said CEO Brent Seaman conned "elderly, retired, and connected" church members at a church where Seaman was also a member, ChurchLeaders.com reports.
The SEC said, "Seaman of Naples, Florida, and various entities he managed" fraudulently raised approximately $35 million "from at least 60 investors through an unregistered securities offering."
He has been charged with "violating the registration provisions, violating the antifraud provisions, and violating the broker-dealer registration provisions."
"From approximately June 2019 until September 2022, Seaman told investors he would use their money to invest in technology companies and to trade currencies and commodities," according to the allegations. "Seaman falsely promised annual returns ranging between 18 and 48 percent and described the investments as 'safe' and the returns as 'guaranteed.'"
Seaman allegedly targeted retired members of the church.
"As alleged in our complaint, Seaman targeted church members with false claims of success," said Eric I. Bustillo, director of the SEC's Miami Regional Office. "This action reflects a deep commitment to pursue those who prey on vulnerable investors."
Seaman's wife, Jana Seaman, is listed in the case as a "relief defendant," meaning the SEC suspects she may be in possession of fraudulent funds. She could be ordered to return the money.
Seaman and his businesses have agreed to settle "without admitting or denying the Commission's allegations and subject to court approval." The courts will also decide "whether it is appropriate to order [the defendants] to pay disgorgement with prejudgement interest and a civil penalty."
The SEC said Seaman used the funds to pay for luxury cars and trips on private airplanes.
"Life is too short to be driving boring cars," Seaman said when sharing an image of his high-end sports car on his Facebook. "If you are not driving your dream car, then go back to work. Hard work always pays off."
Photo courtesy: Vladimir Solomianyi/Unsplash
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.