Santa Clarita investment firm named in SEC investigation

Photo courtesy of the SEC.

A Santa Clarita investment firm and its two owners have been named in an investigation conducted by the U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission.

The firm, Criterion Wealth Management Insurance Services Inc., located on the 23000 block of Lyons Ave., was named along with co-owners Robert Gravette and Mark MacArthur in an SEC complaint that alleges they breached their fiduciary duty and defrauded their clients.

In the Feb. 11 complaint filed with the U.S. Central District Court, the pair are said to have advised clients to invest more than $16 million in funds between spring 2016 and summer 2017, which were paying both Gravette and MacArthur.

Multiple calls placed with the Gravette’s and MacArthur’s representation at Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in Chicago were not returned.

According to the complaint, these actions led to “more than $1 million in side compensation.”

By doing so, the SEC alleges, the pair’s decision led to “reduced investment returns” for Gravette’s and MacArthur’s clients.

The complaint states that, against Criterion, Gravette and MacArthur, there are a total of six “claims of relief” or charges stemming from their alleged infractions during the three-year period.

The complaint states that the defendants should be prohibited from any further acts or practices that violate the law, and calls for civil monetary penalties and the disgorgement, or the return of, alleged illegal profits.

Officials at the SEC referred all requests for comment to their complaint and press release published on Feb. 13.

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