WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced Manuel E. Jesus and his newsletter company Wealthpire Inc. will pay close to $1.5 million after allegations of defrauding subscribers through false statements and misrepresentations.
Jesus purportedly used advertising materials and website information to portray himself as an expert stock trader with a history of genius.
According to the SEC, he alleged to be “the untutored prodigy of stock investing” and a “math whiz” with a “skyscraping” IQ. His company allegedly maintained Jesus, who went by Manny Backus on the site, made millions of dollars before “deciding to help other investors” by creating an alert system that let traders copy his trades.
The SEC charged Backus was not trading in the same stocks that he recommended and he was not even the one making all the recommendations. The agency believes Backus paid Robert C. Joiner to make all of the stock picks for one alert service.
“Investors who subscribe to trading alert services are relying on the purported expertise and success of those making the stock recommendations, but Wealthpire and Backus instead circulated repeated lies and falsehoods,” said Michele Wein Layne, director of the SEC’s Los Angeles Regional Office.