With great fanfare and a big press release, the SEC sued Nikolai Battoo, Tracy Sunderlage and BC Capital in September of 2012. A great number of stock fraud lawyers blasted the Internet hoping to drum up clients. If the SEC is correct, Nikolai Battoo and company have ripped off investors to the tune of $1.5 billion. Receivership actions were started and courts around the world were flooded with complaints. Ten months after the SEC’s complaint, fed up investors are still waiting for a payday.
Unfortunately, the wheels of justice turn slowly, very slowly when defendants hide offshore. It wasn’t until June 25th of this year that a federal judge deemed Battoo served and even that is a bit shaky. We know that Battoo is in Switzerland but until now, he managed to duck service. We can’t believe that Battoo will contest the charges but stranger things have happened. Assuming the government “wins,” however, doesn’t put money in the pockets of investors. The search for assets could take years and much of the money may have made its way to Bernie Madoff.
The SEC’s complaint minces no words when it comes to Battoo and Sunderlage. “The jig appears to be up. Clients are now clamoring for redemptions, so Battoo has doubled down on his deceptions. He blamed the MF Global calamity for his inability to repay investors. But when the SEC sought support for such claims, he declined to provide further information. At other times Battoo has blamed unnamed counterparties for ‘freezing’ his assets… These statements are lies.”
Sunderlage also isn’t spared in the complaint. “Battoo’s scheme has been furthered by Defendant Tracy Lee Sunderlage – no stranger to this Court or the SEC.”
Since the complaint was filed, prosecutors have obtained an order freezing Battoo’s accounts but that order isn’t worth much without assets to freeze. With the court’s order allowing alternative service, the government is closer to obtaining permanent relief but not in bringing Battoo and Sunderlage to justice. In our humble opinion, there can be no justice until both men are in prison and every victim is repaid.
While waiting for the various actions against both men and Battoo’s companies could take years and only yield pennies on the dollar, it may be possible for many victims to obtain more immediate relief. Although Tracy Sunderlage often sold these bogus investments directly through seminars, more often the investments were sold or recommended by stockbrokers and investment advisers. We have even seen cases where lawyers, insurance agents and accountants sold or “blessed” these investments.
While the many feeder funds and companies associated with Battoo’s crumbled empire have no insurance, the third parties who sold or recommended these investments may be liable. The bad news is that time is quickly running out to pursue certain of these claims. Court rules – called statutes of limitations – dictate how much time an investor has to file a claim. Wait too long and the claims may be permanently waived.
If you lost $100,000 or more in an investment with PIWM, BC Capital, the Anchor Funds, Galaxy Fund, Phi R Squared funds, FuturesOne Diversified funds or any fund or investment marketed by Battoo and Sunderlage, give us a call. The stockbroker fraud lawyers at Mahany & Ertl have helped many investors get back their hard earned money. We also take cases involving other stock frauds as well as legal and accounting malpractice cases. Most cases can be handled on a contingent fee basis meaning no legal fees unless we recover money for you.
Mahany & Ertl – America’s Fraud Lawyers. Offices in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Detroit, Michigan; Portland, Maine; Minneapolis, Minnesota and San Francisco, California. Investment fraud cases handled in many jurisdictions.
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Post by Brian Mahany, Esq.