BULLETIN: Another Florida Ponzi Scheme: SEC Sues Estate Of Dead Man, Saying Kenneth Wayne McLeod And His Companies Ripped Off Members Of ‘Law Enforcement’ And Operated Ponzi Scheme For Decades

BULLETIN: The SEC has gone to court in Florida to obtain emergency relief against two companies and their late owner, alleging that Kenneth Wayne McLeod targeted government employees and members of law enforcement to invest in a government bond fund that did not exist.

McLeod, 48, was found dead Tuesday in Jacksonville’s Mandarin Park. Local media outlets are reporting that the death is believed to be a suicide, but the SEC described the death only as “sudden.”

In a dramatic emergency action, the SEC has sued McLeod’s estate and both of his businesses: Federal Employee Benefits Group Inc. (FEBG), a consulting firm, and F&S Asset Management Group Inc., a registered investment-advisory firm.

U.S. District Judge Federico A. Moreno has frozen the assets of McLeod and the companies. The SEC said it was unclear who even was running the firms in the wake of McLeod’s death.

Among the astonishing allegations was that McLeod had been operating a Ponzi scheme since at least 1988 and that the colossal fraud gathered “at least” $34 million from 260 investors across the country.

“McLeod victimized law enforcement agents and other government employees who dedicated their lives to the service of this country,” said Eric I. Bustillo, director of the SEC’s Miami Regional Office. “The victims gave years of public service and McLeod stole their futures.”

McLeod conducted investment seminars “at government agencies nationwide” to lure clients, the SEC said. The agencies paid “up to” $15,000 each for these seminars,” and FEBG held itself out as “dedicated to the complex issues surrounding special group employees, including Law Enforcement Officers, Firefighters and Air Traffic Controllers,”the SEC charged in the complaint.

At least one investor was told the purported bond program was a special fund for family and friends, and families of “fallen agents,” the SEC charged.

If the allegations are true, it means that McLeod was selling a Ponzi scheme dressed up as a secure retirement plan backed by government bonds right inside government offices — while earning a fee to make the pitch and plucking heartstrings by referring to people who had lost their lives in the line of duty.

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