SEC Files Ponzi Scheme Charges Against Top Minnesota Racehorse Owners

Minnesota-based Empire Racing Stables owner Jason Bullard is among two individuals charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday to stop an alleged Ponzi scheme. According to the complaint, Bullard and his partner, Angela Romero-Bullard, misappropriated investors’ money to support other businesses they owned, including their horse racing stable.

The stakes-winning ownership entity lists earnings of over $2.4 million since 2016, according to Equibase, with 146 individually-owned winners and multiple additional horses owned in partnerships. Thus far in 2021, Empire Racing Stables has started 179 horses, primarily at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minn., with 34 winners and nearly $600,000 in earnings.

Empire Racing Stables is currently second in the owner standings at Canterbury, and shared the leading owner title in 2019. The stable has numerous horses entered at Canterbury over the next several days and one at Charles Town in West Virginia.

On Tuesday evening, the Minnesota Racing Commission issued the following statement: “At approximately 1:00 p.m. CDT on the afternoon of August 31, 2021, the Minnesota Racing Commission (“Commission”) was made aware of the indictment of Jason Bullard and Empire Racing Stables, LLC and is investigating the charges. The Commission and the Canterbury Park Board of Stewards will fully cooperate with the United States District Court, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the court-appointed receiver of the assets of Empire Racing Stables, LLC in relation to their investigations into Empire Racing Stables, LLC and to determine how any related issues will be handled.”

The SEC filed an emergency action and obtained a temporary restraining order and an asset freeze to stop the alleged Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Shakopee, Minn., residents Jason Dodd Bullard and Angela Romero-Bullard and the entity they control, Bullard Enterprises LLC. The SEC also named four relief defendants in the action – entities controlled by Bullard and Romero-Bullard that received investor funds from the alleged scheme.

According to the SEC’s complaint, filed in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, from at least 2007 to 2021, the defendants raised approximately $17.6 million from as many as 200 investors to invest in Bullard Enterprises’ purported Flagship and Platinum Funds. Bullard and Romero-Bullard allegedly told investors – most of whom were friends and family, including many elderly retirees – that their investments would be used to trade foreign currencies, and sent investors account statements showing that their accounts were increasing in value. In reality, according to the complaint, Bullard Enterprises stopped trading in foreign currencies in 2015, and the defendants simply used new investor money to pay purported “returns” to existing investors. Also according to the complaint, Bullard and Romero-Bullard misappropriated investors’ money to support other businesses they owned, including a horse racing stable, limousine service, and health and fitness studio.

“Many of the investor-victims in this case were friends and family of Bullard and Romero-Bullard who trusted their promises about investment strategy and expected returns,” said Nekia Hackworth Jones, Director of the SEC’s Atlanta Regional Office. “As alleged in the complaint, Bullard and Romero-Bullard breached that trust for years. Instead of delivering on their promises, these individuals used false statements and fraudulent documents to convince investors to pour millions of dollars into bank accounts used almost exclusively for Ponzi-style payments and for their personal benefit.”

The SEC’s complaint charges the defendants with violating the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws. In addition to temporary relief, the complaint seeks, among other things, preliminary and permanent injunctions, disgorgement, prejudgment interest, civil penalties, and an asset freeze.

The SEC’s ongoing investigation is being conducted by enforcement staff in the Atlanta Regional Office. The investigative team includes Justin Delfino, Krysta Cannon, and Tiffany Kunkle, and is supervised by Peter Diskin and Justin Jeffries. The SEC’s litigation will be led by Patrick Huddleston.

The post SEC Files Ponzi Scheme Charges Against Top Minnesota Racehorse Owners appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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