The US Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a federal lawsuit against syndicated radio host Barbra Alexander and two business associates charging that they misappropriated $2.5 million of approximately $7 million they raised through the fraudulent sale of interests in two real estate investment funds.
The SEC alleges that Alexander, the former president of APS Funding, used her status as host of an internationally-syndicated radio show for entrepreneurs called “MoneyDots” to lure investors who thought their money would be used to fund short-term loans secured by real estate.
Alexander, along with the firm’s Secretary/CFO Beth Piña and Vice President Michael E. Swanson, instead stole investor money to pay themselves $1.2 million and to finance MoneyDots and other unrelated businesses unbeknownst to investors, the SEC charged. It claimed Alexander even used $200,000 of investor funds to remodel her kitchen.
According to the SEC’s complaint filed in US District Court in San Jose, CA, Alexander, Piña and Swanson raised nearly $7 million from 50 investors for two investment funds managed by APS Funding. They claimed that the funds would make short-term secured loans to homeowners and yield 12 percent annual returns to investors. Contrary to what investors were told, $1.2 million of their money instead went directly to Alexander, Piña, and Swanson for personal use, and $1.3 million in investor funds was used to finance other businesses owned by Alexander and APS Funding, including MoneyDots.
The SEC also alleged that Alexander, Piña, and Swanson furthered the scheme by sending monthly account statements to investors reflecting fictitious profits and, in classic Ponzi scheme fashion, paying out purported returns that actually came from new investors.
The SEC’s complaint seeks relief in the form of permanent injunctions against all defendants enjoining them from future violations of the provisions charged, an order requiring that they disgorge their ill-gotten gains, with prejudgment interest, and imposing civil penalties against Alexander, Piña, and Swanson.
According to its website, MoneyDots is heard on over 60 stations in the US and is syndicated to Europe and Africa as well: “Reaching Over Six Million Listeners!” Alexander has not responded to an email from RBR-TVBR seeking comment on the SEC lawsuit.