By: James W. Kraus
On November 9, 2012, Anand Sekaran, President and Director of Wasson Capital, Ltd. (“Wasson”) entered a plea of guilty to charges that he engaged in a $2.3 Million fraudulent scheme to defraud Wasson’s investors. He settled civil charges with the SEC that same day. In its announcement of the guilty plea, DOJ characterized Mr. Sekaran’s actions as constituting a “classic Ponzi scheme.” In its news release regarding the civil charges, the SEC asserted that Sekaran concealed trading losses and diverted funds for personal use, including an allegation that he fabricated documents showing illusory profits after his trading strategy became unprofitable in 2008 and produced substantial losses to clients.
According to the government, Sekaran originally formed Wasson in 1997 as an asset management firm that would invest client money primarily in the U.S. options market. The government claims that as a result of both substantial losses he incurred and several redemption requests, Sekaran then engaged in a scheme to defraud investors, divert investor funds and perpetrate a “Ponzi” scheme through two methods from 2009 through June 2011. The government explained that first Sekaran misrepresented to existing and potential investors, the firm’s investment value and past performance, the way investor funds were being used and the source of the funds distributed to investors who had requested redemptions. The government alleged that Sekaran also distributed fraudulent statements to investors in order to forestall redemption requests, induce new investors to contribute to Wasson and induce existing investors to provide additional contributions.
Sekaran entered a plea of guilty to one count of securities fraud and one count of mail fraud, agreeing to $2.3 million in restitution. As part of his settlement with the SEC, Sekaran also consented to an Order by the SEC, barring him from the securities industry and from penny-stock investing.
Pietragallo partners John Schwab and Jim Kraus will be discussing topics related to federal criminal practice in a four-hour symposium hosted by the Allegheny County Bar Association on Friday, April 24th, 2020. Do you have your first criminal case in Federal Court or do you practice criminal defense and need a refresher on the specifics… Read more »Read More
PITTSBURGH and PHILADELPHIA, PA (May 10, 2019) – Twenty Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti, LLP attorneys were named to the 2019 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars list, including founding partner William Pietragallo, II. These designations are awarded to lawyers who received the highest point totals in the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers2019 nomination, research, and review process, an honor reserved… Read more »Read More
On Tuesday, July 14th, Pietragallo Partner Pamela Coyle Brecht will host a panel presentation to all members of the Qui Tam section of the Federal Bar Association (FBA). The panel will include compliance counsel, defense counsel, and relator’s counsel who will discuss several areas related to the False Claims Act under the program title, “How… Read more »Read More
Pietragallo Partner Douglas K. Rosenblum will be presenting at PBI’s upcoming program, “Intellectual Property Law Institute 2020” on Tuesday, July 28th, 2020. Mr. Rosenblum’s segment is titled, “Trials and Tribulations of Virtual Hearings, Depositions, etc. in the Age of Covid-19.” This year marks the 14th anniversary of the ‘IP Institute’ and the program will be… Read more »Read More