A Florida businessman has been ordered to pay the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission nearly $3 million to resolve allegations that he bankrolled a lavish lifestyle with investor money that was to be used to acquire Colorado marijuana stores.
A federal judge in Tampa, Florida, ordered Steven L. Brickner to “disgorge” $2,423,229 in ill-gotten gains plus $186,306 in interest and pay a civil fine of $390,094.
The SEC said Brickner raised $5.5 million from more than 60 investors with promises of huge investment returns in Colorado’s marijuana industry.
Instead, the SEC claimed, Brickner spent about $3 million on himself.
That included, the SEC alleged:
- 11 classic and luxury cars.
- $465,000 of cryptocurrency coins.
- A personal loan of $580,000 to pay off his mortgage.
- $335,000 in expenses at an adult-entertainment facility in Tampa.
Brickner, without admitting or denying the allegations, entered into a consent agreement with the SEC before the determination of how much he should repay.
As part of the consent agreement, Brickner agreed not to argue that he didn’t violate SEC regulations.
But, according to an SEC court filing last week, Brickner opposed the motion outlining the penalties, made “jabs” at the SEC and put forth “unsupported speculation, theories” about his case.
Last week’s ruling was made by federal Judge Steven Merryday in the U.S. Middle District of Florida.
– Jeff Smith