The SEC brought charges against Jason "Bo" Alan Beckman on Monday for his alleged role in a $194 million Ponzi scheme that authorities say defrauded approximately 1,000 investors. Last year, Beckman's associate, Trevor Cook of Apple Valley, Minnesota, pled guilty to his role in the scheme and was sentenced to 25 years in prison ("Apple Valley, MN Man Gets 25 Years for Ponzi Scheme," Fox9, Aug. 24, 2010).
Beckman and Cook were partners at Oxford Global Advisors, a firm claiming to specialize in foreign currency investments. According to documents filed by the SEC, Beckman is accused of raising $47.3 million from approximately 143 investors in a fraudulent, unregistered investment offering. The suit alleges that the majority of investors believed they were investing in a foreign currency program, and that, though investors were told the program had guaranteed returns of 10.5 to 12 percent, less than 20 percent of the funds raised were ever returned.
Beckman's wife, Hollie Beckman, also has been charged with securities fraud. As reported by Twin Cities Business, she and Beckman allegedly received $7.8 million of investors' funds and spent the money to keep up a luxury lifestyle. The SEC has requested that the court freeze the Beckmans' assets.