The U.S. Securities Exchange Commission has filed a civil enforcement action against an Alpharetta man, accusing him of fraudulently raising more than $2.4 million via a now-defunct unregistered investment fund.
The Feb. 13 SEC filing claims Timothy S. Batchelor, 44, misappropriated more than $1 million for his own personal use. Batchelor’s improper use of investors’ money included purchases of new vehicles, $225,000 he used to repay student loans, $29,000 for classes at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and $25,000 for luxury watches.
Batchelor also allegedly transferred thousand of investor dollars to other members of his family, including $44,000 to his mother and $80,000 to his wife, according to the SEC. Batchelor also spent more than $2,000 in investor funds at Brooks Brothers and more than $3,000 at a retailer of leather goods and handbags, according to the SEC.
The SEC claims Batchelor raised the money from “three high-net worth individuals and one institutional investor” by persuading them to invest in Specter Ventures Fund, a limited liability company where Batchelor allegedly served as the fund’s principal.
Batchelor, according to the SEC, also provided “false and materially misleading information” to other Specter Venture principals about the use of investors’ money, which was then incorporated into financial disclosures to investors on behalf of the fund and fund manager.
The SEC also said Batchelor is not registered. Headquartered on Peachtree Street in the heart of downtown Atlanta, Specter Ventures Fund and Specter Ventures Manager were established in 2014. Specter Ventures Fund was administratively dissolved last year. Specter Ventures Manager was terminated as a limited liability company in March 2016.
The SEC said Batchelor began running into trouble as early as 2015 when he filed papers with the SEC claiming that $70 million had been raised for the Specter Ventures Fund when the actual figure was $900,000. The SEC papers also erroneously reported that none of the proceeds from the offering had been used to pay Batchelor or others affiliated with the fund.
According to the SEC’s complaint, Batchelor later tried to cover his tracks by fabricating a letter in November 2015 describing the his unauthorized use of investor funds as a loan.
The agency is asking a federal judge to issue an injunction to bar Batchelor from violating federal securities laws and from participating either directly or indirectly in the issuances, purchase or sale of any security.
The SEC has also asked that Batchelor be ordered to disgorge all ill-gotten gains from what it contends are multiple instances of fraud.
No attorney has issued an appearance in the case. Specter’s website was taken down, and a cellphone listed to Batchelor at his Alpharetta address was not accepting calls.