In September 2015, The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced fraud charges and an asset freeze to halt an ongoing real estate investment scheme being conducted by a trio of business associates in California accused of stealing investors’ money. The SEC alleged in their complaint that the fraud was orchestrated by Paul Ricky Mata (Mata), a former registered investment adviser with an extensive disciplinary history. Even though Mata was terminated from Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. (Ameriprise) and had other disciplinary suspensions, Mata formed two unregistered advisory firms, Logos Wealth Advisors, Inc. (Wealth Advisors) and Lifetime Enterprises, Inc., dba Logos Lifetime University (Lifetime University). According to the SEC, Mata together with David Kayatta (Kayatta) and Mario Pincheira (Pincheira) defrauded investors.
The complaint alleges that from 2008 through the 2015, defendants raised over $14 million from over 100 investors from California and several other states, by soliciting investments in Secured Capital Investments, LLC (SCI) and Logos Real Estate Holdings, LLC (LREH). Many of the investors were claimed to be retirees who were duped into selling their existing securities holdings and investing in the fraudulent funds using online videos, investment seminars promising “Indestructible Wealth,” and presentations to church groups promising “Finances God’s Way.” Mata, Kayatta, Wealth Advisors, and Lifetime University have been accused of inducing investors by falsely promising guaranteed returns, misrepresenting investment proceeds use, and failing to disclose Mata’s disciplinary history to his advisory clients.