The Securities and Exchange Commission filed securities fraud charges against an Austin, Texas investment advisor and two of his businesses alleging he conducted a “multi-million dollar scam” that used former professional football players to promote its offerings.
The SEC alleged in a filing Tuesday that Kurt B. Barton and Triton Financial LLC raised more than $8.4 million from approximately 90 investors by selling “investor units” in an affiliate, Triton Insurance, and telling investors that their money would be used to purchase an insurance company.
The SEC alleged that Barton, who is chief executive officer of Triton, instead used the funds to pay day-to-day expenses at Triton Financial and its affiliate. Triton co-sponsors the Heisman Trophy Trust, an organization that annually honors the best player in college football.
According to the complaint, which was filed in federal court in Austin, Triton used former football players as well as stockbrokers and other salesmen to promote securities and recruit potential investors. The investment advisory firm, which according to its Web site invests in real estate and manages the securities portfolios of athletes and other clients, has raised more than $50 million for at least 40 ventures since 2004, according to the complaint.
Toby Galloway, a regional trial counsel in the SEC's Fort Worth regional office, said that the former players aren’t facing any charges right now, but the SEC continues to “look at everyone involved.”