U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Litigation Release No. 18184 / June 10, 2003
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Philip J. Yoder Individually and d/b/a All The Way to the Top, No. 3:03-CV-0418AF (N.D.Ind.) (Hon. Allen Sharp)
Philip J. Yoder Charged by SEC with Fraud and Registration Violations
On June 9, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced the filing of civil securities fraud and registration violation charges in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana against Philip J. Yoder, age 25, of Sarasota, Florida, for operating two schemes that defrauded approximately 85 investors of over $1.6 million. The Commission's complaint alleges from at least November 2000 through March 2001, Yoder raised approximately $1.6 million from investors by selling two different investments, one a "prime bank" trading program and another called All the Way to the Top. In raising money, Yoder misrepresented the nature of the investments and the risk and rate of return. In addition, he did not tell investors that he would use their funds without their permission for his own purposes. During his solicitation of investors, Yoder resided in Goshen, Indiana. Yoder's scheme, All the Way to the Top, solicited investors over the Internet promising guaranteed risk-free monthly returns of 40% to 50%. For this scheme, Yoder raised approximately $660,000 in investors' funds. Additionally, Yoder raised $1.02 million for a "prime bank" trading program. This program promised risk-free guaranteed weekly returns of 100% per week for eleven months and supposedly involved the trading of "medium term" notes. According to the Commission's complaint, Yoder could not produce the promised returns for these schemes, the "prime bank" trading program did not exist, investors never received any returns, and most investors lost their principal.
The Commission's complaint alleges that Yoder engaged in violations of the registration and antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws in connection with these schemes. The Commission seeks a permanent injunction barring Yoder from violating Sections 5(a), 5(c), and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Sections 10(b) and 15(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The Commission also seeks a third-tier civil monetary penalty from Yoder and disgorgement of any ill-gotten gains. The Commission wishes to thank the Portland, Oregon Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the British Columbia Securities Commission, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the Hong Kong Police Department for their assistance in this matter.
For tips on how to avoid prime bank fraud, visit http://www.sec.gov/divisions/enforce/primebank.shtml. For more information on Internet fraud, visit http://www.sec.gov/divisions/enforce/internetenforce.htm. To report suspicious activity involving possible Internet fraud, visit http://www.sec.gov/complaint.shtml.