On September 27, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission” or “Plaintiff”), represented by Robert Kent Levenson, attorney at SEC’s Florida regional office, filed a civil enforcement action against Sky Group (“Sky Group” or “the Company”), Betancourt (collectively, “Defendants”) and Angelica Betancourt, EEB Capital LLC (collectively, “relief Defendants”), seeking injunctive relief, disgorgement of all ill-gotten gains, and payment of civil penalties for the alleged securities offering fraud perpetrated by Defendants. This case was filed in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Florida with Judge Beth Bloom presiding.
In the complaint the Commission alleged that, “The Commission brings this action as the result of a three-year-long securities offering fraud conducted by Defendants that victimized hundreds of investors enticed by the Defendants’ baseless promises of a high-return, low-risk investment. From no later than January 2016 through at least March 2020, Sky Group USA, fraudulently raised more than $66 million from at least 505 investors, many of them members of the South Florida Venezuelan-American community, through the offer and sale of promissory notes (“Notes”).”
The Commission further alleged that, “The Notes generally ranged in amount from $10,000 to $150,000 and paid interest running from 24 percent to as high as 120 percent. Sky Group and Betancourt falsely represented to investors that Sky Group would use their money solely to make small-dollar, short-term loans to consumer borrowers with poor or no credit (so-called payday loans) and for costs associated with the loans. In reality, the proceeds Sky Group generated from its consumer loan business were woefully insufficient to cover principal and interest payments to investors. Sky Group and Betancourt used at least $19.2 million of investor funds to make Ponzi-like payments to other investors.”
The Commission also alleged that, “In addition, Betancourt misappropriated at least $2.9 million for personal use, including a luxury chateau wedding in France and vacations to Disney World and the Caribbean, and authorized the transfer of at least $3.6 million to friends and relatives for no apparent legitimate business purpose. The scheme unraveled in July 2019, when Betancourt told investors that Sky Group was suspending investor repayments on the Notes. Even then, Betancourt and Sky Group continued to lie, falsely blaming the suspension of repayments on a vendor responsible for processing the Company’s investor repayments.”
There are nine claims for relief laid down by the Commission. The first, second, third, and fourth claims deal with the alleged violations of Sections 5(a), 5(c), 17(a)(1), 17(a)(2) and 17(a)(3) of the Securities Act. The fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth claims deal with the alleged violations of Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5(a), Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5(b), Section 10(b) And Rule 10b-5(c) and Section 15(a) of the Exchange Act. The ninth claim deals with unjust enrichment.
In its prayer for relief the Commission has requested the court to issue permanent injunctions restraining and enjoining Defendants from violating Sections 5(a), 5(c) and 17(a) of the Securities Act, and Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. Plaintiff further requested the court to issue an order directing Defendants and all Relief Defendants to disgorge all ill-gotten gains, including prejudgment interest, and issue an order directing Defendants to pay civil money penalties along with such other relief as may be necessary and appropriate.
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Pending - Other Pending
Securities and Exchange Commission
Sky Group USA LLC
Jr. Efrain Betancourt
EEB Capital Group, LLC
Robert Kent Levenson
Attorney at Securities & Exchange Commission
801 Brickell Avenue, Suite 1800
Miami, FL 33131
(#3) Summons Issued as to Angelica Betancourt, Efrain Betancourt, EEB Capital Group, LLC, Sky Group USA LLC. (jc) (Entered: 09/27/2021)
Civil Cover Sheet
Docket(#3) Summons Issued as to Angelica Betancourt, Efrain Betancourt, EEB Capital Group, LLC, Sky Group USA LLC. (jc) (Entered: 09/27/2021)Read MoreRead Less
Docket(#2) Clerks Notice of Judge Assignment to Judge Beth Bloom. Pursuant to 28 USC 636(c), the parties are hereby notified that the U.S. Magistrate Judge Alicia M. Otazo-Reyes is available to handle any or all proceedings in this case. If agreed, parties should complete and file the Consent form found on our website. It is not necessary to file a document indicating lack of consent. Pro se (NON-PRISONER) litigants may receive Notices of Electronic Filings (NEFS) via email after filing a Consent by Pro Se Litigant (NON-PRISONER) to Receive Notices of Electronic Filing. The consent form is available under the forms section of our website. (jc) (Entered: 09/27/2021)Read MoreRead Less
Docket(#1) COMPLAINT For Injunctive and Other Relief against All Defendants. Filing fees $ 402.00. USA Filer - No Filing Fee Required, filed by Securities and Exchange Commission. (Attachments: #1 Civil Cover Sheet, #2 Summon(s))(Levenson, Robert) (Entered: 09/27/2021)Read MoreRead Less
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