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Rancho Santa Fe “Investment Guru” Pleads Not Guilty to Fraud Charge

By George Miller of Shustak Reynolds & Partners, P.C. posted on Wednesday, October 10, 2012.

Earlier this year, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged James B. Catledge, Derek F.C. Elliott and several related entities with fraud in connection with the sale of unregistered investments in the “Juan Dolio Resort” and another property located in the Dominican Republic.

According to the SEC, Catledge and Elliott falsely promised investors they would receive returns of 5%-12% per year and share in the projected appreciation of the properties. In reality, the SEC claims Catledge and Elliott–who raised nearly $164 million from investors–kept over $60 million in illicit commissions for themselves while falsely assuring investors their principal investments would be safe.

On September 21, 2012, in a related criminal case, a federal grand jury in San Francisco indicted Catledge and Elliott on mail fraud and conspiracy charges. Catledge entered a plea of “not guilty” earlier this month. A court hearing has not yet been set for Elliott.

Catledge, a self-proclaimed “investment guru,” is a resident of Rancho Santa Fe, California, while Elliott is from the Toronto, Canada area. The pair worked together on the Dominican Republic hotel project since at least 2005.

If you have been the victim of misrepresentations or fraud in connection with the purchase of securities, private placements or other investments, you may contact our firm’s managing partner, Erwin Shustak, at (619) 696-9500 or [email protected].

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