Goodman & Nekvasil P.A, May Recover Your Investment Losses – James C. Tao (James Tao) Formerly Licensed Financial Advisor with Sunbelt Securities, Inc., Settles SEC Charges that James Tao Defrauded Investors in Presidio Venture Capital
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that former financial adviser James Tao has agreed to settle charges that he defrauded investors in Presidio Venture Capital, a private equity fund James Tao created and managed, by making material misstatements in offering documents and misappropriating investor funds. According to the SEC, James Tao and James Tao’s former partner, Donna Boyd (f/k/a Donna Chen), also settled charges for violating broker-dealer registration requirements by soliciting sales of interests in the funds, which were securities not offered by the brokerage firm with which they were associated at the time.
According to the SEC’s complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, while working as financial advisers associated with a registered investment adviser and broker-dealer, James Tao and Boyd formed private equity fund PVC, LLC – which did business as Presidio Venture Capital – in 2013 primarily for the purpose of investing in technology start-ups in the Houston, Texas area. The SEC’s complaint alleges that James Tao and Boyd raised approximately $860,000 for the fund between January 2013 and July 2016 by soliciting investments from their advisory clients, some of whom were also brokerage clients, and from other personal and business contacts.
The SEC’s complaint alleges that James Tao falsely claimed investor funds would be held in escrow and returned unless $2.5 million was raised. The complaint further alleges that while some of the money Presidio Venture Capital raised was invested in arms-length transactions that fit the fund’s stated business model, Tao failed to timely or adequately disclose that the fund was also investing in companies he owned or in which he had a personal stake, which was a clear conflict of interest. In addition, as alleged in the complaint, James Tao used investor funds to apply for a loan to increase his interest in the fund, cover other expenses not in line with the use of funds disclosed in Presidio Venture Capital’s offering materials, and make a Ponzi-style payment by using new investor funds to buy out a disgruntled investor. The complaint also alleges that James Tao ignored fund redemption restrictions and bought out Boyd, who severed ties with the fund in 2013, and at least three other investors with cash from the sale of one of Presidio Venture Capital’s early investments.
If you lost any money on Presidio Venture Capital and/or other investments with James Tao, you may be able to recover your losses from Sunbelt Securities, Inc. This is because Sunbelt Securities, Inc. had a duty to supervise James Tao.
If you lost money on Presidio Venture Capital and/or other investments with James Tao and believe that the investments may have been unsuitable or otherwise improper for you, we would like to discuss the possibility of your retaining our firm to represent you in an arbitration action against Sunbelt Securities, Inc. concerning James Tao’s conduct. There is no charge for an evaluation of your case. Further, we handle our cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that unless we recover money for you, we charge no attorney’s fee. Unless you recover any money, you pay us nothing, not even the costs and expenses which the firm will advance on your behalf.
Goodman & Nekvasil, P.A. has recovered more than $180 million on behalf of victimized investors. If you lost money on investments with James Tao and would like your case evaluated by a securities attorney (again, there is no charge for an evaluation and all cases are handled on a purely contingency fee basis), please contact us.
Keywords: James Tao, Sunbelt Securites, Presidio Venture Capital, PVC,