A Texas-based Army veteran seems to be living down to his namesake made infamous by folk rock singer Jim Croce’s hit single. Leroy Brown Jr. is facing fraud charges after he falsely portrayed himself as a stockbroker and used his military background to bilk investors.
The SEC announced fraud charges and an asset freeze against Brown on Tuesday, claiming the 32-year-old Army veteran who served from 2001 to 2013 falsely assured investors, including some stationed at nearby Fort Hood, that he had many years of experience in the securities markets. In reality, Brown was not registered with the SEC, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority or any state regulator. The SEC alleges Brown and his firm have no evident experience with investments.
Additionally, in an effort to lure current and former members of the military to invest his firm, LB Stocks and Trades Advice, he falsely guaranteed investors that he would double or triple their money within 120 days.
“Investment fraud is always wrong, but it’s especially pernicious when perpetrated against those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom,” David Woodcock, director of the SEC’s Fort Worth regional office, said in a statement.
The SEC is seeking financial penalties and disgorgement of ill-gotten gains as well as permanent injunctive relief. The court has issued an order temporarily freezing all assets of Brown and LB Stocks and Trades Advice.