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SEC Files Charges Against Workshop Promoters

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed civil fraud charges March 12 against two Utah promoters who held investor workshops in many cities, including San Diego.

They appeared in television commercials promoting a get-rich-quick stock trading system.

The complaint alleges that Linda Woolf and David Gengler duped attendees at free seminars from 2003 to 2006 by selling a trading program that included classes, mentoring and software.

The SEC said that to dupe their victims into paying as much as $40,000 for the products and services, Woolf and Gengler lied about their success of the trading system. The two never used it and were not successful stock traders.

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“The allegations depict a cold-hearted scheme that preyed on the elderly, the desperate, and even the unemployed by promising financial security while instead robbing victims blind,” said SEC Chairman Christopher Cox in a news release.

The SEC complaint states that Woolf never declared stock trading profits on her federal tax returns, and Gengler declared losses. However, Woolf declared some $4 million in commissions from the sale of his “Teach Me to Trade” products, while Gengler made about $2.25 million.

The SEC action seeks civil penalties and permanent injunctions for violating anti-fraud provisions of federal securities laws.

, Mike Allen

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