The US businessman accused by the SEC of persuading his online dates to invest in his own company has paid $1.8m to settle the case.
Thomas J. Connerton, 64, was charged by the SEC in June last year, after they alleged he had been using online dating sites to get investment in his business, Safety Technologies LLC.
Connerton was indicted on 39 charges along with his partner, Jean S. Erickson, who originally claimed to be one of his victims.
But Connerton has now settled the case for $1.8m, which will end the SEC’s claims, which argued that Connerton persuaded people to invest in the company, Safety Technologies, which he said had developed a new type of rubber glove that was more resistant to cuts and punctures, and was about to secure huge deals for the product.
The SEC’s indictment argued that Connerton used dating sites to lure a number of women, and their friends and family, into shelling out money.
The complaint also claimed Connerton took money totalling over $2m from more than 50 people in the form of investment, which he used to pay for things like engagement rings and settling loans.
The indictment, filed on 7th March, also argued the role of Connerton’s partner, Jean S. Erickson, in the scheme, suggesting the pair tried to hide the source of the funds together.
It was also alleged by the SEC that Erickson lied to police and told them she was an investor in Safety Technologies, when in fact she was engaged to, and living with, Connerton at the time.
Connerton was charged with one count of mail fraud, 12 counts of wire fraud and 18 counts of securities fraud, along with six counts of money laundering, and one of money laundering conspiracy.
Erickson was charged with money laundering, money laundering conspiracy and providing a false statement.
Both Connerton and Erickson pled not guilty to the charges filed against them.
And on Thursday, it was revealed that the SEC had filed a joint motion asking U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson to sign off on a consent judgment with Connerton and his company Safety Technologies LLC., to settle the case.