A businessman accused of participating in a bond scheme alleged to have defrauded seniors housing investors will pay almost half a million dollars to resolve his case if a proposed settlement is approved by a judge, The Bond Buyer reported Wednesday.
Todd Barker would pay disgorgement of $217,488.44, plus $24,755.23 in interest and a civil monetary penalty equal to the disgorgement, under a settlement proposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission and filed in federal court Tuesday. Under the agreement, he would pay the full $460,000 within two weeks of the settlement’s approval, and he neither would admit nor deny the commission’s allegations.
The proposed settlement stems from charges against Barker and his business partner, Dwayne Edwards, originally announced in January 2017.
The legal complaint alleges that between July 2014 and September 2015, Edwards and Barker, and the limited liability companies they set up to serve as borrowers, raised almost $62 million through nine separate municipal bond offerings. Edwards, the commission said, improperly commingled at least $3.9 million from the offerings and the revenues of the communities underlying them; he and Barker dispute the claim.
Each of the bond offerings was supposed to finance a particular assisted living or memory care community in Alabama or Georgia, according to the government, but Edwards allegedly diverted the money for personal use and to finance other unrelated bond offerings.
Eight of the nine bond offerings at issue in the SEC’s January 2017 complaint involved the purchase of a community from Christopher Brogdon of Atlanta, whom the SEC previously sued and obtained a judgment against in connection with a series of similar bond offerings. As the result of a separate case, Brogdon reportedly agreed to repay more than $86 million to investors after he reportedly misused their funds, which had been raised to purchase and renovate senior living facilities.
The nine communities involved in the Barker / Edwards case went into receivership but got new owners earlier this year.
At the time of the original announcement of charges, the SEC said that Barker had agreed to a bifurcated settlement and that monetary sanctions against him would be determined later. Courts usually approve settlements negotiated between the SEC and a defendant, The Bond Buyer said, but the judge in the case could reject the monetary settlement if he believes it is not appropriate.