Frederick Alan Voight of Richmond, Texas, a Houston-area businessman promising to prevent car wrecks caused by drowsy drivers, has been charged by the SEC with operating a $114 million Ponzi scheme. Voight has been accused of defrauding over three hundred investors. He most recently raised $13.8 million on claims that the money would be used to fund a startup, InterCore Inc., which would introduce “Driver Alertness Detection Systems” (“DADS”).
Voight promised his investors extremely high returns, over forty percent, all from repayable loans to small public companies. In actuality, the money was used to pay previous investors leaving the fund, according to the SEC. Fortunately, the majority of the money has been recovered, but $22 million of Voight’s allegedly illicit gains remain missing. The SEC believes the money was sent to InterCore’s Canadian subsidiary, InterCore Research Canada, Inc., “where the funds seemingly disappeared.” According to the SEC’s complaint, Voight accrued fees and InterCore stock warrants that he failed to disclose to the DADS investors.
“Voight wooed investors with promises of outsized returns and once-in-a-lifetime investment opportunities. But, like all Ponzi schemes, we allege that this one collapsed when Voight couldn’t find enough new money to keep up with his false promises,” said David L. Peavler, Acting Regional Co-Director of the SEC’s Fort Worth Regional Office.
According to the SEC, Voight’s scheme was operated through the U.S. mail and that beginning in October 2014, Voight allegedly wrote to prospective investors about a “tremendous” opportunity to assist InterCore in installing the DADS technology into “several million trucks and buses,” which he claimed was enough to pay the thirty to forty-two percent annual interest rates on the promissory notes “many, many times over.”
The SEC alleges that Voight understood the falsity of these claims because he served on InterCore’s board and was aware that the Delray Beach, Florida public company was financially strapped and unable to pay back the loans.
Voight agreed to settle the SEC’s complaint after being charged with securities fraud and with conducting unregistered securities offerings. He will also be barred from serving as a public company officer or director and from participating in the offer, purchase, or sale of any security except for his own personal account.
If you or someone you know has lost money as a result of an investment or Ponzi scheme, please contact Richard Frankowski at 888-741-7503 to discuss your potential legal remedies or complete the contact form.