SEC Shuts Down Investment Company that Attracted NFL Players

Ware Enterprises and Investments Inc., which targeted blacks and Christians as well as nearly 20 NFL players, is nothing more than a Ponzi scheme, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Tuesday as it acted to shut down the Orlando-based investment firm.

The SEC said the company got more than 600 people to invest about $16.5 million over three years by using religiously oriented pamphlets to attract vulnerable groups, the SEC said in its complaint.

The SEC claims that Ware held seminars designed to generate investors who were then asked to pass the investment information on to others. The company promised returns of 10 percent a month in the first 10 months and 5 percent after that, but provided no statements or other paperwork to investors. The SEC also pointed out that the company claimed the NFL endorsed its program, which was not the case.

Among the company’s investors were about 20 NFL players, who were told by the league last year to avoid the company. The Associated Press reported that last July, the NFL sent out an advisory warning players to stay away from the firm, and it forwarded information to the SEC and the FBI, league spokesman Greg Aiello said Monday before the complaint was announced. He would not name the players.

"Some of our players came to us, came to our security department to perform due diligence on an investment opportunity," Aiello said. "Our security department came up with information suggesting there could be problems."

Warren Ware, 32, who operated the firm, did not return AP calls on Tuesday. He and his firm were charged with the sale of unregistered securities and four counts of fraud in a five-count complaint, the AP reported. The SEC also moved to freeze the company’s assets despite the fact that the company was administratively dissolved last September after it failed to file an annual report. A receiver who hopes to return some money to investors is currently overseeing the company.

"It's particularly pernicious that people would target certain groups, in this case low income groups who were vulnerable," John Mattimore, assistant regional director of the SEC's Miami office, told the AP.

You may like these other stories...

A new government report on Monday found that the IRS may not be completing the required research steps in collecting delinquent taxes before considering the cases “not collectible.”The Treasury Inspector General...
The school year is off and running—have your start-up clients launched as well? It may make a big difference in tax status. If your clients can get their businesses up-and-running before the end of the year, they may...
Ernst & Young fiscal-year revenue rises 6% to $27.4 billionMichael Rapoport of the Wall Street Journal reported late Thursday that Ernst & Young's (EY) global revenue was $27.4 billion in its latest fiscal year,...

Already a member? log in here.

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Sep 30This webcast will include discussions of important issues in SSARS No. 19 and the current status of proposed changes by the Accounting and Review Services Committee in these statements.
Oct 9In this jam-packed presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA will give you a crash-course in creating spreadsheet-based dashboards.
Oct 15This webinar presents the requirements of AU-C 600, Audits of Group Financial Statements (Including the Work of Component Auditors).
Oct 21Kristen Rampe will share how to speak and write more effectively by understanding your own and your audience’s communication style.