Rockford Funding Group, et. al.
The Commission filed a complaint against the defendant Rockford Funding Group, LLC ("Rockford") and various relief defendants on December 8, 2009. In its complaint (Dkt. No. 1), the Commission alleges that Rockford fraudulently used cold-calling and a Web site to raise at least $11 million from more than 200 investors in 41 different states and Canada since March 2009. Rockford falsely touted itself as a leading private equity firm with an $800 million pipeline of investments and many Fortune 500 companies as clients, and told investors their money would be safely invested in structured settlements in private lawsuits. Rockford, however, did not engage in any investment activity that would generate any returns for investors, let alone its claimed returns of at least 15 percent annually. Instead, dividend payments it made to investors were funded by other Rockford investors' contributions, and Rockford transferred most of the money collected from investors to banks in Latvia and Hong Kong. In short, Rockford operated as a Ponzi scheme.
Based on these allegations, the Commission charged Rockford with violations of Sections 5(a), 5(c) and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 ("Securities Act"), 15 U.S.C. §§ 77e(a), 77e(c), and 77q(a), and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act"), 15 U.S.C. § 78j(b), and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, 17 C.F.R. § 240.10b-5. The Commission alleged that the relief defendants had received the proceeds of Rockford's violations of the federal securities laws.
The Court has issued judgments against Rockford and most of the relief defendants, which hold Rockford and the relief defendants jointly and severally liable for a total of $11,237,250.70 in disgorgement and prejudgment interest. Pursuant to these judgments, approximately $600,000 has been paid to the Clerk of the Court, and it is currently being held in the Court Registry Investment Service ("CRIS") fund. This amount consists of payments pursuant to the Court's judgment against the relief defendant Pacific Gain Technologies Ltd. and funds transferred by various banks holding frozen accounts of Rockford and certain relief defendants. The amounts held in the CRIS account constitute the "Distribution Fund."
On September 30, 2014, the Commission filed a Motion to Approve Plan of Distribution with the Court for approval. A link to the Commission's Motion to Approve Plan of Distribution may be found here. On March 16, 2015, the Court approved the Plan of Distribution ("Plan"). The Plan includes a Plan of Allocation, as well as sets forth a claims process for investors to participate in the distribution. The Court has appointed Analytics LLC as the Distribution Agent under the Plan. Relevant documents and information regarding the Plan and how to submit a claim may be found at http://rockforddistributionfund.com/.
On July 1, 2016, the Commission filed a motion to transfer funds to the Distribution Agent for disbursement to authorized claimants, together with an affidavit of support from the Distribution Agent. On July 6, 2016, the Court granted the Commission's motion and entered an order to transfer the funds to the Distribution Agent for disbursement to the authorized claimants.