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SEC accuses 3 companies of defrauding small businesses

By Mark Iandolo | Mar 5, 2018

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced Feb. 28 that Steven J. Muehler has been charged with a litany of offenses, including defrauding small businesses.

Muehler controls three companies, AltaVista Capital Markets LLC, AltaVista Private Client LLC and AltaVista Securities LLC. Muehler and the companies have been charged with violating Section 5(c) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 15(a), Section 10(b), and Rule 10b-5 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Muehler also has been charged with violating Section 15(b)(6) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Claudia Muehler, Steven Muehler’s wife, has been charged with aiding and abetting, and an associate named Koorosh “Danny” Rahimi has been charged with violating Section 15(a) of the 1934 Securities Exchange Act.

“As alleged in our complaint, Muehler tells small businesses that he runs a successful broker-dealer enterprise that can raise millions of dollars from investors,” said Michele Wein Layne, director of the SEC’s Los Angeles Regional Office, in a statement. “In truth, Muehler is a repeat securities law violator who already admitted to defrauding small businesses the last time the commission brought an enforcement action against him. The complaint demonstrates the commission’s vigilance in enforcing its orders and dealing with recidivist violators.”


Working on the case for the SEC were M. Lance Jasper and Benjamin Faulkner. They were supervised by Spencer E. Bendell. Donald W. Searles will now handle the case, supervised by Amy J. Longo.

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