U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 23332 / September 2, 2015
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Roger S. Bliss and Roger S. Bliss d/b/a Roger Bliss and Associates Equities, LLC, Roger Bliss and Associates Club LLC and/or Bliss Club LLC, Civil Action No. 2:15cv00098
Alleged Investment Club Fraudster Indicted On Charges of Obstructing SEC Investigation and Violating Asset Freeze
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that an alleged investment club fraudster whose assets were frozen in an SEC enforcement action earlier this year has now been criminally charged by a grand jury for lying and obstructing justice in an ongoing SEC investigation.
In a complaint filed in federal court in Utah in February, the SEC alleges that Roger S. Bliss, of Bountiful, Utah, operated an investment club that falsely promised returns in excess of 100 percent by day-trading Apple stock. In reality, Bliss lost more than $3 million day-trading and failed to use all of the investor funds for his stated purpose of day-trading. The court imposed an asset freeze against Bliss at the SEC’s request.
The SEC thereafter learned that Bliss concealed his ownership of a catamaran sailboat and secretly transferred possession to his brother-in-law, Kevin Fortney. After the SEC moved for civil contempt against Bliss for violating the asset freeze, both Bliss and his brother-in-law, who was not charged in the SEC’s enforcement action, filed sworn declarations that the sailboat was owned by the brother-in-law and not by Bliss. In an order issued on August 14, the court found Bliss in contempt of the asset freeze order and referred the matter to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah for potential criminal charges. The U.S. Attorney’s Office presented the case to the grand jury. The resulting criminal charges against Bliss are based on the same violations of the asset freeze order that were the basis of the SEC’s civil contempt motion.
The felony counts subject Bliss and Fortney to a potential prison sentence of as many as 15 years each and a monetary fine of up to $250,000 for each charge.
For more information see the following Litigation Release: 23196 (February 12, 2015).