SEC Complaint Alleges Veros Partners, Matthew Haab Jeffery Risinger, and Tobin Senefeld Engaged in a Farm Loan Ponzi Scheme

shutterstock_161005310The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) brought charges against Veros Partners, Inc. (Veros), an Indianapolis investment adviser, Matthew Haab (Haab), and two associates, attorney Jeffrey Risinger (Risinger) and Tobin Senefeld (Senefeld), fraudulently raised at least $15 million from at least 80 investors, most of whom were Veros advisory clients for the purposes of engaging in two fraudulent farm loan offerings. The SEC alleged the defendants made ponzi scheme payments to investors in other offerings and paid themselves hundreds of thousands of dollars in undisclosed fees. The SEC obtained a temporary restraining order and an asset freeze in order to put a stop to the scheme.

According to the complaint in each offering the investors purchased securities issued in 2013, by Veros Farm Loan Holding LLC (VFLH) and in 2014, by FarmGrowCap LLC (FarmGrowCap). VFLH and FarmGrowCap are controlled and operated by Haab and two associates, Risinger and Senefeld. The investors in the two offerings were informed, orally and in writing by Haab, and in the written offering documents, that investor funds would be used to make short-term operating loans to farmers for the 2013 and 2014 growing seasons. However, the SEC found that contrary to these representations significant portions of the loan proceeds were not used for current farming operations but were used to cover the farms’ prior unpaid debt.

In addition, the SEC alleged that Haab, Risinger, and Senefeld used money from the offerings to make at least $7 million in payments to investors in other offerings and to pay themselves over $800,000 in undisclosed “success” and “interest rate spread” fees. The SEC also has complained that the defendants repeatedly misled investors about the risks, nature, and performance of the investments and underlying farm loans.

According to the complaint, Haab is an accountant and financial planner living in Indianapolis, Indiana. Haab founded Veros in 2000, and owns a significant percentage of the company. Haab also manages the firm’s investment advisory business.

Risinger is an attorney living in Fishers, Indiana. Since at least 2012, Risinger has worked with Haab to structure and manage private farm loan investments for Veros’ advisory clients. Since 2013, Risinger has been a broker with Pin Financial LLC, a registered broker-dealer.

Senefeld lives in Indianapolis, Indiana and is the CEO of, and a broker with, Pin Financial LLC. Since at least 2010, Senefeld has worked with Haab and Risinger to originate private farm loan investments offered to Veros’ advisory clients.

PinCap LLC (PinCap) is an Indiana limited liability company based out of Risinger’s law office in Carmel, Indiana. According to the SEC, PinCap issued the securities in the 2014 Bridge Loan Offering and is owned by Veros, Risinger, and Senefeld, and managed by Risinger, Senefeld, and Haab. PinCap was an entity used by Risinger, Haab, and Senefeld to make and manage private offerings in which Veros clients invested.

Investors who have suffered losses may be able recover their losses through securities arbitration. The attorneys at Gana LLP are experienced in representing investors in cases of investment fraud. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.