US authorities charge founder of Roaring Investments with fraud
United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced on Tuesday that Alexander S. Rowland, founder of Roaring Investments, Inc. was charged with fraud. In particular, Rowland is charged with seven counts of mail fraud, 30 counts of wire fraud, one count of bank fraud, one count of securities fraud, one count of investment adviser fraud, and two counts of money laundering.
The Indictment alleges that Rowland started Roaring Investments, Inc in July 2016. The defendant held himself out to potential investors as a licensed investment adviser who would invest their money in stocks and cryptocurrency, and promised them a minimum rate of return of 25%, with potential returns of 50% or higher. Through these and other misrepresentations, Rowland was able to dupe his victims into investing almost $3 million in Roaring Investments.
According to the Indictment, despite telling investors that he was a licensed investment adviser, in reality Rowland did not hold any licenses to sell securities or offer investment advice. Furthermore, the defendant invested only approximately $518,000 of the almost $3 million he obtained from his clients, and those investments lost more than $100,000. The remainder of client funds (almost $2.5 million) were used by Rowland for taking large cash withdrawals; paying his own personal bills; buying luxury vehicles; paying for vacations and jewelry; paying for gym memberships; and buying more than $47,000 worth of firearms.
Finally, the Indictment alleges that the defendant received and ignored an August 2018 cease and desist letter from the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities that instructed Roaring Investments to stop selling unregistered securities and for Rowland to stop serving as an unlicensed investment adviser. Instead, Rowland continued to solicit new investments from clients.
As a result of Rowland’s alleged fraudulent conduct, Roaring Investments’ clients lost more than $2,139,000.
Rowland faces a maximum sentence of 835 years in prison, a five-year period of supervised release, and a fine of $15.35 million.
In a parallel action, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged Rowland with violating the antifraud provisions of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The SEC seeks injunctive relief, the disgorgement of ill-gotten gains with prejudgment interest, and civil penalties.