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 Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti LLP, a business and litigation law firm with five offices across Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia, is proud to announce that nineteen of our distinguished attorneys have been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2021 edition. “The legacy of our law firm is the depth of our courtroom… Read more »Read More
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
Nationally-recognized False Claims Act Attorney Pamela C. Brecht will present “The False Claims Act and Dealing with Whistleblowers” at Seton Hall University School of Law on Wednesday, October 14, 2020. Ms. Brecht, Chair of the Firm’s Qui Tam & False Claims Act practice, will be co-presenting with Morgan Lewis Partner Meredith S. Auten. For more… Read more »Read More
Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti, LLP Partner Pamela Coyle Brecht will present “The False Claims Act Update” at the Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s (PBI) A Day in Health Law program on October 28, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A Day on Health Law is a one-day, six-hour spin-off of PBI’s annual Health Law Institute. The Health… Read more »Read More