By Tom Bolton, Noozhawk Executive Editor
A Montecito man and his Santa Barbara-based equipment leasing company have been charged by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission with defrauding investors in connection with the sales of more than $80 million in promissory notes.
The complaint, filed June 5, names Essex Capital Corp. and its founder and CEO, Ralph T. Iannelli, according to a news release issued by the SEC.
“Between 2014 and 2017, Essex Capital Corporation and its founder, Ralph T. Iannelli, made a series of false and misleading statements and illusory personal guarantees to registered investment advisers to induce them to invest millions of dollars of their clients’ money in Essex’s failing equipment leasing business,” the SEC stated.
Some 70 investors were taken in by the alleged scam through the sale of promissory notes that carried a high interest rate — typically around 8.5 percent, according to the SEC complaint.
“The SEC alleges that Essex and Iannelli provided one investment adviser with fake financial statements that overstated Essex’s assets by more than $20 million, and falsely told another investment adviser that Essex would assign equipment leases to its clients when the same leases had already been pledged as collateral for bank loans.”
Continue Viewing This Noozhawk Story