The Securities and Exchange Commission froze the assets of a Denver-based group of companies and their principal, and charged the group with defrauding at least 150 investors in a $55 million Ponzi scheme.
Daniel B. Rudden and a group of companies operating under the name Financial Visions allegedly issued promissory notes to fund the companies' operations providing short-term financing for funerals and related expenses. Investors were promised annual returns of 12% or more.
Mr. Rudden and Financial Visions could not be reached for comment.
Mr. Rudden is charged with using new investor funds to pay interest and redemptions to existing investors since 2010 or 2011. The SEC alleged that Mr. Rudden concealed the Financial Visions companies' true financial performance and condition.
Mr. Rudden is also charged with representing the business as successful to existing and prospective investors when he knew he was running a Ponzi scheme.
The SEC complaint was filed in federal court in Denver, Colo., on July 19. The SEC seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement plus interest and penalties.
The SEC also named three entities, which the agency alleges were controlled by Mr. Rudden and received investor funds from the alleged Ponzi scheme, as relief defendants.