The Securities and Exchange Commission has sued two investment companies, one of them based in Georgia, alleging that they solicited more than $30 million from investors, then defrauded them by taking undisclosed loans, reporting false returns and telling them they had put the money in offshore investments, some of which had no earnings.

Most of the money — about $24 million, according to court filings — passed through an escrow account managed by Alpharetta, Ga., attorney Melanie Mayer, who is not a party to the suit and has not been charged with a crime.

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