March 27, 2019
On September 28, 2018, the SEC charged NL Technology, LLC, its owner and president, Jonny Ngo, and his business partner, Donato “Mick” Baca, Jr. with orchestrating a multimillion-dollar scheme that defrauded hundreds of investors. NL Technology is a company based in San Diego, California in operation from mid-2011 to February 2018 which purportedly imported wholesale electronic and technology-related equipment for resale in the United States.
According to the SEC Complaint, Ngo and Baca raised over $61 million from more than 350 investors between 2013 and 2017 by falsely promising to use the money for NL Technology, LLC. They allegedly reeled in investors by promising returns of 5% to 15% within 14 to 45 days of the initial investment and assured investors that their funds would be secured by collateral interests in receivables and other property.
The SEC claims that the electronics resale business did not exist and that the Ngo and Baca used investors’ funds to make Ponzi payments to prior investors and to pay for their extravagant lifestyles, including gambling and purchasing luxury cars and homes. To conceal the scheme, Ngo and Baca allegedly fabricated bank statements, financial records, and other documents. The SEC claims that they even impersonated third parties with whom NL Technology was supposedly doing business. When a major investor discovered that it was a fraud, Baca allegedly continued to encourage investors to invest directly with Ngo and denied any knowledge of the scheme.
The SEC charged Ngo and Baca with violating provisions of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The SEC seeks injunctive relief, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains plus prejudgment interest, and financial penalties against Ngo and Baca.
Ngo and NL Technology, without admitting or denying the allegations made by the SEC, have already agreed to the entry final judgments enjoining them from violating the foregoing provisions of federal securities laws. In this settlement, Ngo is prohibited from soliciting, accepting, or depositing any monies from actual or prospective investors in connection with any securities offering, ordered to disgorge $4.5 million of ill-gotten gains, pay $245,726 in prejudgment interest, and pay a $480,000 civil penalty.
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