Is Jon Harder a west coast Bernie Madoff? According to the SEC charges, Harder and Sunwest were raising funds from investors and using the new money to pay other investors and operating expenses in a kind of ponzi scheme. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed civil fraud charges against Sunwest Management, Inc, Jon Harder, and certain closely affiliated entities and sought sought a motion in Federal Court to freeze assets and appoint a receiver to oversee Sunwest and related entities.
The allegations range from 2006 to 2008 where Harder allegedly raised $300 million from more than 1,300 investors who were told that their money would buy partial ownership interest in a specific retirement facility and provide a 10% annual investment return according to the SEC complaint. As of January, over a hundred of Sunwest’s retirement homes were in foreclosure, receivership or bankruptcy. The SEC alleges that investors were misled because a majority of the retirement home sites were losing money.
The allegations, the latest in a string of alleged scams uncovered amid the national recession, target Oregon-based Sunwest Management; Jon Harder, the firm’s founder and former CEO; and several related entities and individuals. The complaint alleges that the money was allegedly commingled in a single fund that was used to pay operating expenses, investor returns and other costs.
For the statement from Sunwest, click here.