Developer Defrauded 250 Investors Out Of $119M, SEC Alleges
A Bay Area real estate company and its owner allegedly defrauded hundreds of investors out of $119M through “a continuous series of misrepresentations and omissions and other deceptive conduct,” the Securities and Exchange Commission alleges.
Real estate development company SiliconSage Builders and its lone owner, Sanjeev Acharya, convinced roughly 250 investors, mainly members of the South Asian community, that his projects were great investments. But the company and almost all of its projects have not turned a profit for years, the SEC claims in its Dec. 21 complaint filed in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California.
“Since at least August 24, 2016, Silicon Sage Builders and all but one of its real estate development projects have not been profitable, because the property sales generated by its business have not generated enough cash to either return investor capital, pay returns to investors, or provide any income to Silicon Sage Builders,” the SEC said in the complaint.
Acharaya allegedly never mentioned that the company was having financial difficulties and continued to raise more than $119M in that same time period, the complaint said.
Some of the newer investors’ money was used to pay previous investors, and investors were told they could redeem their investments even though there was not enough money to honor those requests, according to the complaint.
The SEC is seeking both preliminary and permanent injunctions to freeze the assets of Acharaya and SSB, prohibit them from destroying documents and to appoint a receiver over SSB.