SEC Brings First Case For Misleading Chief Compliance Officer

The SEC has sanctioned a former portfolio manager at a Boulder, Colo.-based investment adviser for forging documents and misleading the firm’s chief compliance officer to conceal his failure to report personal trades.

According to the SEC, an investigation found that Carl Johns of Louisville, Colo., failed to pre-clear or report several hundred securities trades in his personal accounts as required under the federal securities laws and the code of ethics at Boulder Investment Advisers (BIA).  The SEC stated Johns concealed the trades in quarterly and annual trading reports that he submitted to BIA by altering brokerage statements and other documents that he attached to those reports.  The SEC also stated Johns later tried to conceal his misconduct by creating false documents that purported to be pre-trade approvals, and misled the firm’s chief compliance officer in her investigation into his improper trading.

To settle the SEC’s charges – which are the agency’s first under Rule 38a-1(c) of the Investment Company Act for misleading and obstructing a chief compliance officer (CCO) – Johns agreed to pay more than $350,000 and be barred from the securities industry for at least five years.