HAMILTON, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The Madison County real estate investor accused of running a Ponzi scheme is now being investigated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), according to a filing obtained by NewsChannel 9.
In the document filed Monday, Oct. 16, the SEC alleges Miles Burton Marshall might owe the agency “penalties, disgorgement, and prejudgment interest arising from possible violations of the federal securities laws.”
It reads: “The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has been conducting an investigation into certain pre-bankruptcy conduct involving the debtor. Based on this investigation, the SEC may file a civil action against the debtor in an appropriate forum.”
Despite the blunt language of the filing, the SEC would not confirm an investigation.
In a statement to NewsChannel 9, an agency spokesperson writes: “The SEC does not comment on the existence or nonexistence of a possible investigation.”
In part, the SEC was designed to protect investors after the stock market crash of 1929 that resulted in the Great Depression.
Marshall’s attorney responded Monday but declined comment.
NewsChannel 9 has previously reported on the hundreds of people who invested a total of $90 million in what they thought was the promise of a generous return on their principal payment, many of whom have now lost their life savings.
Marshall’s remaining assets include nearly 100 pieces of real estate in Madison County, valued collectively less than $18 million.
Marshall has been under investigation by the State Attorney General since March. He filed for bankruptcy in April.
In June, the term “Ponzi scheme” was used by prosecutors to describe Marshall’s operation.
“The Debtor’s business model contains all the hallmarks of a Ponzi scheme,” wrote the Utica-based assistant U.S. trustee.