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Alternative Market Briefing

Ponzi operator Yusaf Jawed’s lawyer Robert Custis banned from practicing before the SEC

Friday, February 28, 2014

Komfie Manalo, Opalesque Asia:

The United States District Court for the District of Oregon issued a final judgment against Oregon attorney Robert Custis and banned him from appearing or practicing before the Securities and Exchange Commission as an attorney under Rule 102(e) of the Commission’s Rules of Practice.

In its ruling, the court upheld the SEC’s complaint against Custis that accused the lawyer of making false and misleading statements to investors of investment funds run by Ponzi operator Yusaf Jawed while retained as its lawyer.

The SEC’s previously-filed complaint alleged that Jawed and two entities he controlled, Grifphon Asset Management, LLC and Grifphon Holdings, LLC, defrauded more than 100 investors in the Pacific Northwest and across the country as part of a long-running Ponzi scheme that raised more than $37m.

The complaint alleged Custis was retained in 2009 and began sending updates to Jawed’s investors regarding the status of a purported purchase of the funds’ assets that would allow investors to redeem their shares of the funds for a profit. The complaint alleges that the statements regarding the asset purchase were false and that the investors were never paid.

In September last year, Jawed agreed to pay nearly $34m to settle ......................

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