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SEC Names Britt Wright in Alleged Ponzi Scheme

Aug 15, 2022 Ponzi schemes

Britt Wright (CRD #: 4275139), a broker formerly registered with Edward Jones, allegedly participated in a Ponzi scheme, according to her BrokerCheck record, accessed on July 24, 2022. Keep reading if you have questions about Britt Wright’s conduct as a broker.

SEC Complaint

On June 10, 2022, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil complaint alleging that Britt Wright, Michael Mooney, Penny Flippen, and John Woods participated in a Ponzi scheme that raised over $100 million from more than 400 investors.

In the complaint, the SEC alleges that Britt Wright, Michael Mooney, and Penny Flippen were Registered Investment Advisers (RIAs) at Livingston Group Asset Management Company, (doing business as Southport Capital), a firm owned and managed by John Woods. The SEC alleges that Britt Wright and the other defendants recommended that their clients invest or maintain at least $62 million in Horizon Private Equity, III, LLC, a private investment fund fully controlled by John Woods.

The SEC alleges that the defendants disregarded that most of their clients were elderly, lacking in investment experience, and explicitly desired safe investment opportunities for their assets, which were predominantly earmarked for retirement.

Instead, the defendants allegedly recommended investments in Horizon Private Equity based on John Woods’ reportedly unsubstantiated claims about the fund’s investment objectives, the source of its returns, and its operations. Defendants also allegedly failed to address red flags, including John Woods’ alleged direction to the other defendants to not use their Southport Capital email addresses when communicating about Horizon Private Equity.

According to the SEC, Britt Wright and the other defendants allegedly falsely informed their clients that Horizon Private Equity would purchase safe investments with clients’ funds, that Horizon would pay a guaranteed rate of return, and that investors would receive their principal back with no penalty.

In reality, the SEC alleges that Horizon earned “very few profits,” and that proceeds from newer clients were primarily used to make principal and interest payments to earlier investors. The SEC further alleges that other Horizon funds were used for John Woods’ personal projects, including the purchase of a minor league baseball team.

In August 2021, the SEC charged John Woods and Southport Capital with multiple counts of securities fraud for allegedly operating Horizon Private Equity as a Ponzi scheme.

Concerning Britt Wright’s alleged participation in this scheme, the SEC alleges that she violated or aided and abetted in violations of the following regulations:

  • Sections 17(a)(1), 17(a)(2), and 17(a)(3) of the Securities Act of 1933
  • Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and subsections (a), (b), and (c) of Rule 10b-5 thereunder
  • Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940

This civil complaint is currently pending.

Securities Act of 1933

Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 forbids the use of fraudulent devices or schemes related to the interstate purchase and sale of securities. It also explicitly prohibits the use of false or misleading statements or the omission of facts to make a profit.

Securities Exchange Act of 1934

Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 bans manipulative, deceptive, and otherwise fraudulent activities relating to the securities business. Rule 10b-5 specifically prohibits false statements and omissions of fact that mislead investors.

Investment Advisers Act of 1940

Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 prohibit the use of deceitful or fraudulent schemes, practices, and transactions.

Background Information

Britt Wright has passed the following exams:

  • Series 65 – Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination
  • Series 63 – Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination
  • Series 7 – General Securities Representative Examination

She previously worked for Banc of America Investment Services (CRD#:16361) and Edward Jones (CRD#:250).

Kurta Law Can Help

If you worked with Britt Wright and you have concerns about your investments, please contact us today at 877-600-0098 or info@kurtalawfirm.com for a free consultation.

For over 20 years, Kurta Law has advocated on behalf of investors who want to recover their investment losses from brokers and brokerage firms. Kurta Law is a nationally recognized law firm and exclusively represents investors against brokers and brokerage firms on a contingency basis. This means that the firm only earns a fee if our securities attorneys recover money on your behalf.