The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it has settled its suit against an entrepreneur who raised millions of dollars by making false claims about his businesses to investors.
Benedict Van made “serial misrepresentations” to many inexperienced investors, the SEC said in its complaint. “Van played on the hopes of investors, tricking them into believing that his companies were on the verge of becoming the next Silicon Valley success stories,” Marc Fagel, director of the SEC’s San Francisco regional office, said in a press release.
Van owned two Internet companies, hereUare and ecity, and told potential investors they were about to go public. He also made claims that Goldman Sachs was preparing the IPO filing for hereUare. However, in reality, neither company was about to go public, and neither Van nor hereUare had a relationship with Goldman.
Van and the companies agreed to settle the suit without admitting guilt. As part of the settlement, Van will also be permanently barred from serving as an officer or director in a public company.