Lee-based RagingBull settles with state securities regulators
A Lee-based financial firm accused of misleading investors is settling with state securities regulators.
Under the terms of the consent order, RagingBull and its leaders, Jason Bond, also known as Jason Kowalik, of Durham, and Jeffrey Bishop of Barrington, will be allowed to continue operating the firm under an agreed set of guidelines, along with paying nearly $700,000 in refunds to New Hampshire customers and an additional $675,000 in administrative fines.
In December 2020, the Federal Trade Commission filed a civil suit accusing RagingBull of operating a $137 million scam in which investors were promised high returns with little effort. At the same time, the New Hampshire Bureau of Securities Regulation also announced regulatory action, accusing the firm of failing to obtain proper licensure and misleading consumers.
Owners of the firm were accused of making stock trades just before announcing their stock tips to customers, who paid monthly fees or attended online webinars, generating additional profits for the firm’s owners. Advertising language suggested the founders had earned large sums off of their investment savvy.
“Plain and simple, RagingBull went too far and crossed the line,” N.H. Bureau of Securities Regulation deputy director said in a statement.
“Successful and profitable investing is not as simple as subscribing to a website, and today’s settlement is indicative that trading organizations that mislead New Hampshire consumers will pay a price.”
The FTC’s lawsuit remains ongoing. A federal judge rejected the government’s request to shut down RagingBull on a temporary basis, instead appointing an independent monitor to oversee the company’s business practices.
Under the terms of the state settlement, RagingBull will need to send trade alerts ahead of any employees placing similar trades themselves. The company will also need to alter its live streaming events and advertising materials, as well as follow other restrictions.
When announcing its regulatory action in 2020, the bureau accused RagingBull of misleading investors by touting its financial success with images of employees on private jets. The bureau noted RagingBull did not possess a private jet.