The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Chelsea resident Gary Martel with defrauding at least 12 investors of $1.6 million from 2006 to the present.
Martel operated under multiple names including Martel Financial Group and MFG Funding.
Investors, according to the SEC charges, were defrauded by Martel in Massachusetts, Florida and Vermont.
With Martel’s consent, a federal judge froze Martel’s assets and prohibited him from continuing operating his business.
Martel allegedly ran an investment business for retirees, among others, looking for a safe place to put their money in order to earn reliable income.
The complaint filed by the SEC alleges that Martel filed phony account statements for his investors while the investment tools he offered were largely ficticious – that is – the bonds he said he was investing in for his investors were not real entities.
Martel apparently distributed small interest payments and provided documentation showing safe investments with doctored account statements – then he would ask his investors for more money to invest.
He then transferred out of investor accounts the cash into his own business accounts.
Martel is now forbidden from soliciting, accepting or depositing any money from investors and from altering or destroying documents relative to the investigation.
He faces substantial fines, interest and restitution requirements.