Earlier this month, the SEC filed a civil injunction action against Jody
Dunn, a 43-year-old deaf man from Texas, for
misrepresentation, misappropriation, and the fraudulent, unregistered offer and sale of
investments in Imperia Invest IBC, a company the SEC has already charged
with securities fraud.
According to the SEC's complaint, Dunn defrauded approximately 7,133
deaf investors out of $3.45 million through the solicitation of life-insurance
investments for Imperia. The complaint further accuses him of siphoning
off $353,068 of investor funds for his personal use. He deposited the
remainder of the investor funds into Imperia's offshore bank accounts.
According to the SEC's complaint, Dunn failed to verify Imperia's
credentials or whether the company was actually investing money as promised.
Additionally, the SEC accuses Dunn of continuing to reassure investors
of Imperia's legitimacy even after the SEC issued an
investor alert warning the deaf community that the Internet-based company was defrauding
investors. The alert warned investors that Imperia was fraudulently guaranteeing
"annual returns in excess of 1.2% per day" while actually "siphoning
the [investors'] funds into foreign bank accounts and not paying any
money back to investors."
"No money has been invested, no TEP's were purchased and no investor
received any return," wrote the SEC.
Dunn is currently unemployed and receiving social security disability payments,
according to the SEC. From August 2007 through July 2010, his primary
source of income came from Imperia.
The SEC is seeking civil penalties and disgorgement.