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Alternative Market Briefing

SEC charges Coral Gables Asset Management with fraud

Monday, August 31, 2020

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York:

The SEC has halted an investment offering from Coral Gables Asset Management for fraud. The regulator also got an emergency order to freeze the assets of Coral Gables and its owner David C. Coggins. The order also requires that Coral Gables preserve all documents following an attempt by Coggin to destroy the paper trail.

According to the SEC's complaint, Coral Gables and Coggins solicited investors for a private fund they managed by misrepresenting the fund's past performance, the amount of assets they were managing, and Coggins' experience as a portfolio manager. The complaint further alleges that Coral Gables and Coggins falsified brokerage records and investor account statements and created and sent fake audit opinions to investors and third parties. As alleged, within hours of receiving a request from the SEC to preserve documents, Coggins destroyed evidence related to his fraudulent conduct.

Coggins also deleted online professional profiles including his LinkedIn account.

All of the documents presented to potential investors suggested that the fund had a long track record of positive performance and growing assets under management, when the opposite was true. The SEC alleges that Coggins used money that came in from new investors to fund a luxury personal lifestyle.

The SEC's complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, charges Coral Gables and Coggins with violating antifraud laws. The SEC also charged Coral Gables Asset Holdings, L.P. and its successor entity, Coral Gables Capital, L.P., as relief defendants.

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