Jason Michael Ganton of Broward County pled guilty last week as one of several defendants involved in a purported investment scheme under the alias NIT Enterprises, Inc. (NIT).
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) originally filed a complaint in 2019 against NIT Enterprises and several defendants, including Ganton. The complaint alleges that three individuals, Gary R. Smith, James E. Cleary, and Jason M. Ganton led a fraudulent investment scheme throughout the United States and Canada that affected over 100 investors and involved nearly $5 million.
The SEC claims that the three defendants above, under the name NIT Enterprises, falsely claimed that the company was in the process of developing “radiation protection products” that required substantial funds from investors. However, the SEC alleged that this was false and inaccurate, as most of the funds were allegedly used to fund the defendants’ personal expenses.
Consequently, Ganton pled guilty in federal court last week for conspiracy to commit wire fraud. According to the SEC, Ganton’s actions as part of NIT Enterprises includes making false representations about NIT, misappropriating investor funds, selling unlawful securities under the scheme, and more.
According to FINRA’s BrokerCheck tool, Ganton has been barred from the financial industry since 2016. Individuals that have been barred by FINRA are not allowed to lawfully act as a registered investment broker or advisor.
Know Who You’re Dealing With
In researching investment opportunities, one important step is to investigate the person soliciting money from investors. While we advise that investors take a number of steps before investing, this one step may be the deciding factor in deciding not to invest with someone.
In many cases, we have seen a number of individuals that were either unregistered brokers or had several legal concerns with their status as registered brokers. Both situations should be major red flags, especially if the individual has been barred as a result of his/her prior actions in the industry.
Here, Ganton reportedly used a false name to hide his prior legal and regulatory disputes. This also raises concerns for investors to know exactly where their money is going before making the investment. Without taking such precautions, the chance of becoming a victim is certainly higher.
For additional resources on protecting yourself from investment fraud, visit our blog or contact our financial attorneys today. Call us at 239-319-4434 for a confidential, no-cost consultation to discuss your case. Vernon Litigation Group represents investors across the United States in a number of financial disputes, including securities and investment fraud, FINRA arbitration, EB-5 investments, and more.