The Securities and Exchange Commission has banned a financial advisory firm that claimed to manage money in accordance with the will of the Almighty, according to a Financial Advisor IQ
Logos Wealth Advisors had been in operation for around seven years, according to the report. It was run by Paul Mata and David Kayatta, who started the firm after they were fired from Ameriprise Financial. Both Mata and Kayatta have numerous disclosure on their BrokerCheck profiles, according to Financial Advisor IQ
Logos promised investors that their assets would be managed in “God’s way,” which would lead to “indestructible wealth.” The SEC alleges that Mata guaranteed returns, but pushed two unregistered investment funds on investors. He also allegedly misused investor funds, failed to notify his clients about his extensive disciplinary record, didn’t mention his stake in one of the funds and lied about the fund’s use of the proceeds, Financial Advisor IQ
And California regulators claimed earlier this year that Mata used investor money to pay off personal expenses for him, Kayatta and another associate, as well as to fund startups he owned. The SEC maintained that Mata was fired from Ameriprise for pushing clients into risky loans in order to fund investments, operating a fund as a competing investment entity, hiring people without performing background checks and running unapproved seminars, according to the report.
Kayatta allegedly used investor cash to pay off a personal American Express account, Financial Advisor IQ
reported. He also allegedly let new investors into a fund even after it had closed despite being aware that it would dilute original investors’ stakes.
While it may seem easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than to believe Logos was legitimate, quite a few people apparently did. The firm managed to raise $14 million from 100 investors, according to Financial Advisor IQ