BULLETIN: SEC Says St. Louis Man Went On ‘Spending Spree’ With Investors’ Money, Fleecing Them Of More Than $9 Million; Burton Douglas Morriss Charged With Fraud

BULLETIN: The SEC has gone to federal court in Missouri and obtained an emergency asset freeze in a case that alleges a St. Louis man who operated private investment funds misappropriated more than $9 million from investors.

Charged in the civil case is Burton Douglas Morriss, 49, and four companies: MIC VII LLC, Acartha Technology Partners LP, Acartha Group LLC and Gryphon Investments III LLC.

Some of the money was steered to Morriss Holdings LLC, which is named a relief defendant for receiving ill-gotten gains, the SEC said.

“It is fraud, pure and simple,” said Eric I. Bustillo, director of the SEC’s Miami Regional Office.

Investors’ money was used by Morriss to make alimony payments, pay interest on personal loans and take “costly vacations, including an African safari,” the SEC charged.

“Morriss attempted to hide his illegal transfers of investor funds by calling them ‘loans’ when in reality he had no intention of paying back the money and instead went on a spending spree,” Bustillo said.

Read the SEC’s emergency complaint.

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