News

Alamo man, collaborator charged with bilking investors of nearly $8 million

Two Bay Area men were charged today with defrauding investors of nearly $8 million by claiming to offer extremely high returns as high as 6,300 percent.

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Jason G. Rivera, Jr. and Marc C. Harmon with violating U.S. securities laws and is seeking an

order prohibiting them from future violations and a requirement that they return their ill-gotten gains and pay penalties, SEC officials said today.

Rivera, who had previously worked in real estate, allegedly raised around $4.5 million in 2007 and 2008 through his company the Joseph Rene Corporation by telling investors their money was being placed in assets such as real estate, oil, diamonds and gold.

He later teamed up with Harmon, an unemployed construction worker, and raised an additional $3.2 million from 2008 through 2010 through a second company, Executive Members Management Group. The pair promised investors returns of up to 6,300 percent by trading in financial instruments including collateralized mortgage obligations.

The pair allegedly made numerous false claims to investors. However, instead of making payments to investors as promised, Rivera allegedly used the money to finance automobiles, jewelry, restaurant meals and basketball season tickets, among other luxuries, as well as more than $2.6 million in improvements to his 8,000 square foot home in Alamo. He allegedly paid Harmon $180,000.

"The spectacular returns offered by Rivera and Harmon turned out to be bait for a fraud," said Marc Fagel, director of the SEC's San Francisco

Regional Office. "Investors should be wary of those claiming they can deliver quick riches with flashy trading strategies."

Comments

Posted by Greed Wins, a resident of Alamo
on Sep 29, 2011 at 6:29 am

Well, it took taxpayers money to arrest, convict, and perhaps imprison two baiters and it took taxpayers to fall for super duper greed seeking more from less.

So, which group is worse; perpetrator or perpetratorees??????

No matter which way one sees it, the taxpayers ultimately foots the bill or do they??


Posted by ron, a resident of Alamo
on Sep 29, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Penny ante nonsense. A few million is all? How come we have yet to see any actions against the tens of thousands of WS Banksters who systematically ripped off hundreds of billions with far worse claims like rating garbage, er, asset backed securites (ie, billions of bundled liar loans) as "AAA"?

Perhaps because of revolving door btw the industry and the so-called regulators? Perhaps that's why Goldman Sachs and other scam artists got the tax payers to bail them out 100 cents on the dollar in exchange for "assets" that were only worth pennies?

Where's the outrage? Where is the reporting? Where are the prosecutions, multi-decade sentences and orders of restitution for tens/hundreds of billions of illicit profit these banksters stole?


Posted by psmacintosh, a resident of Danville
on Sep 29, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Ron,

Don't fall for the liberal soundbite that "it was the greedy WS Banker's actions and fault" that caused the mortgage meltdown.

it was liberal politicians with bad financial ideas, especially Dem. Barney Franks, that CHANGED formerly conservative mortgage regulations into new, very liberal, "let-everyone-buy-a-house" regulations (by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) that allowed this whole mortgage "house-of-cards" debacle to happen.

The politicians aren't going to throw themselves into jail.

So I wouldn't really blame the Bankers, no matter how greedy they might have eventually become, because they couldn't do what they did without the direct manipulation and alteration of the mortgage industry by bad politicians with bad political/financial concepts and regulations.

Barney Franks dodged all accountability for his actions and influences (primarially by blaming Wall Street Bankers) and he'll throw everyone else under the bus, before himself.


Posted by Derek, a resident of Danville
on Sep 29, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Oh goodie, I see PSM is here to fire up the PRWPM (perpetual right wing paranoia machine) for us. What would we do without Mac?


Posted by liberal-elite haha, a resident of Danville
on Sep 29, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Who deregulated the banking industry? Look up conservative Texas republican Phil Gramm's 1999 bill. This was the beginning of the runnaway banking and mortgage industries. The Bush administation 2001 to 2007 controlled both houses and did nothing but cry. That's why we are all paying now.


Posted by Rivas, a resident of Alamo
on Sep 29, 2011 at 4:04 pm

What would the teanuts say to this ... its free market the investors should have done their homework. That's why we need practical regulation and a system of checks and balances.


Posted by psmacintosh, a resident of Danville
on Sep 30, 2011 at 12:32 pm

liberal-elite haha,

The "deregulation of the banking industry" was NOT the real problem behind the collapse of the mortgage/real estate industry!

The actual problem came from the pressured influence of liberal Democrats directing CHANGES to the mortgage underwriting policies of the FANNIE MAE and FREDDIE MAC federal agencies that controlled what mortgages could be made by the lending industry (what mortgages could be bought and sold). Those changes ALLOWED for radically new NON-CONSERVATIVE mortgage types to be created and made to UNDER-QUALIFIED borrowers (many of whom knowingly LIED about their true incomes).

It was primarially LIBERAL Congressional politicians who allowed people to obtain mortgage loans with virtually no money down, at higher debt-to-income ratios than in the past, and with virtually no real investigation into the truth of their income claims that caused the problem (no or low income verification).

Therefore people got into houses they couldn't afford, based on artificially low starting monthly payments from low teaser rates on adjustable loans.
People were doing what everyone else was doing and jumping on the bandwagon--and just hoping that they could pay for the monthly mortgage payments whenever their adjustable interest rates would go up.
It was a house-of-cards waiting to implode (just like the Federal Budget is still today)! Only us people can't "print money".

The greedy bankers who decided to get money while they could, could only do so because of the "blessings" of those politicians who leaned on FANNIE MAE to LOOSEN its underwriting rules. Bush didn't do loosen the underwriting rules (regardless of whether it happened during his time in office...or during Clinton's time). The WS Bankers didn't really do it (they didn't have that much clout and ability at FANNIE MAE).

Liberal-elite haha, if you truly care to be honest with yourself (and others), then find out WHO (which individual politicians) really did it (really influenced the changes at FANNIE MAE) and then name them and blame them, whether Democrat or Republican. Let's get all of them out-of-office! (I'll support you on that.)
Otherwise you're just playing a phony "blame" Bush game!


Posted by Roger, a resident of Alamo
on Sep 30, 2011 at 9:34 pm

P. S. MacIntosh

Boy, You certainly have that right about Rep. Barney Frank.
I have been telling people for several years that he needs
to be confronted and taken to task. Remember, he is the one that
thought people were being discrimated against by requiring
at least 3% down payment.


Posted by psmacintosh, a resident of Danville
on Oct 3, 2011 at 10:30 am

Roger,

And instead of being held accountable, it was Rep. Barney Frank who had the unmitigated gall to force WS Bankers to come before Congressional hearings to call them on the carpet, grill them in publicly televised sessions, and blame them for the problems which HE was responsible for. Talk about deceiving the general public with propaganda.
He even argues that, because of the mortgage debacle, the Government (i.e. he and his liberal buddies) should have EVEN MORE POWER AND CONTROL over the mortgage industry than the they already had, through bigger, stronger, and more expanded agencies.
The Government should stay out of Private Enterprise; career politicians don't know what they are doing when it comes to business, making money, and creating jobs.


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