TKO Farms Inc – Charged By The SEC (Updated 2023)
The Securities and Exchange Commission charged securities issuers TKO Farms, Inc., and Agravitae, Inc.; individuals Kenneth Dewayne Owen, Reynaldo Aguilar, James Brian Blaylock, and Ross Gregory Erskine; and the Estate of Gilbert Allan Penhollow, all of the Los Angeles area, in connection with allegedly unregistered and fraudulent offerings of securities effected through unregistered telephone solicitors.
TKO Farms and Agravitae Inc raised $20 Million from investors and defrauded them.
TKO Farms Inc., a corporation with headquarters in Florida, has been accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of operating a fraudulent Ponzi scheme to steal money from its investors. The allegations serve as a timely reminder of the significance of performing exhaustive research on an opportunity prior to making any financial commitment to it.
The Context of the Investigation
TKO Farms Inc. was established in 2016 with the stated mission of being in the business of buying cattle and breeding them for the purpose of reselling them. The company asserted that it had a history of success that could be verified and guaranteed returns of up to 20% to potential investors.
However, the SEC claims that TKO Farms Inc. was actually running a Ponzi scheme, in which it used the money from new investors to pay returns to previous investors who had already invested. It is also alleged that the corporation faked financial statements in order to give the appearance that the scheme was legal.
The Investigation Conducted By The SEC
In 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission opened an inquiry into TKO Farms Inc. after receiving complaints from investors who claimed they had not gotten the profits that were promised to them. According to the findings of the investigation, the company had raised more than $8.5 million from investors, the majority of whom were senior citizens and retired individuals.
According to the findings of the investigation, TKO Farms Inc. had also utilized investor monies for personal needs, such as purchasing expensive automobiles, going on vacation, and renting a private plane.
The Accusations and the Repercussions
As a consequence of the inquiry, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has brought charges against TKO Farms Inc. and its creator, Thomas K. Oblak, for breaching the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws. The Securities and Exchange Commission is looking to have ill-gotten gains disgorged, as well as prejudgment interest and civil penalties.
In conjunction with the Ponzi scheme, the Department of Justice has additionally brought criminal charges against Oblak, saying that he engaged in wire fraud and money laundering.
According to the allegations in the SEC’s complaint, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, between May 2017 and March 2021, TKO Farms and Agravitae raised nearly $20 million from investors through offerings of their securities.
The SEC alleges that Owen, who had a history of criminal convictions, regulatory actions, government liens, and bankruptcy, possessed undisclosed de facto control over both companies and, acting on the two companies’ behalf, directly or indirectly recruited and engaged Aguilar, Blaylock, Erskine, and Penhollow, none of whom were registered as a broker or dealer, to solicit investors for the securities offerings. As further alleged, defendants TKO Farms, Agravitae, and Owen misrepresented Owen’s history and control over the two companies and the use of investor funds.
The SEC’s complaint charges each defendant with violations of the registration provisions of Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933 and the broker-dealer registration provisions of Section 15(a)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Additionally, TKO Farms, Agravitae, and Owen are each charged with violating the antifraud provisions of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act, Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act, and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The SEC’s suit seeks, as remedies, permanent injunctions, disgorgement plus prejudgment interest, and civil penalties.
The SEC’s investigation was conducted by James Thibodeau and was supervised by Tanya Beard. The litigation will be led by Casey Fronk and Tracy Combs
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