The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Oregon residents Robert D. Christensen and Anthony M. Matic, as well as several companies they controlled, with conducting a multi-year Ponzi-like scheme and misleading investors who purchased more than $10 million in promissory notes.
According to the SEC’s complaint, from at least January 2018 through September 2022, Christensen and Matic used four entities that they founded – Foresee Inc., The Commission PDX LLC, The Policy PDX LLC, and Innings 150 LLC – to raise money from retail investors, including several retirees, for the purported purpose of investing in real estate. Christensen and Matic allegedly raised this money through the offer and sale of unregistered promissory notes, which promised high interest rates between nine and 15 percent to be paid to investors, in addition to the return of all principal, within just a few months. In reality, the complaint alleges, Christensen and Matic did not have the ability to pay investors the promised returns within the time periods identified in the notes; instead, they relied on new investor money to pay earlier investors. Additionally, Christensen and Matic allegedly used investor money for unauthorized and undisclosed purposes, including to pay for at least one vacation, gifts, casino trips, massages, personal expenses, a whiskey club membership, and cryotherapy.
“As we allege in our complaint, Christensen and Matic promised high interest payments and quick returns to convince investors to participate in their scheme, when in reality they did not have the ability to make the promised payments and spent significant amounts of investor funds on personal entertainment and expenses,” said Monique C. Winkler, Director of the SEC’s San Francisco Regional Office. “The SEC is committed to rooting out and stopping offering frauds targeting investors’ hard earned money.”
The SEC’s complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, charges Christensen and Matic and their four related entities with violating the antifraud and securities registration provisions of the federal securities laws. Without admitting or denying the allegations in the complaint, Christensen, Matic, and the charged entities agreed to settle with the SEC and to the entry of final judgments imposing requested permanent and conduct-based injunctions as well as $5,374,482 in disgorgement and prejudgment interest. Christensen and Matic further agreed to each pay a $200,000 penalty as well as to the imposition of permanent officer and director bars. The settlements are subject to court approval.
To learn more about Ponzi schemes and promissory note fraud, please visit the SEC’s website at https://www.investor.gov/protect-your-investments/fraud/types-fraud and https://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/promise.htm.
The SEC’s investigation was conducted by Steven Varholik and Michael Foley, with the assistance of Marc Katz and Bernard Smyth, of the San Francisco Regional Office. The investigation was supervised by Jason H. Lee and David Zhou.