The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Vika Ventures LLC and its CEO and co-founder, George Iakovou, with securities fraud
Today, the Securities and Exchange Commission brought charges against the venture capital firm Vika Ventures LLC and its CEO and co-founder, George Iakovou, accusing them of fraudulently offering and selling more than $6 million worth of securities to at least 46 individual investors in a variety of states, including New York, California, and Georgia. Penelope Zbravos, the other co-founder of Vika Ventures, was also announced to have settled charges brought against her by the SEC for her role in the scheme.
The complaint filed by the SEC alleges that between the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2021, Iakovou and Vika Ventures made an offer to sell investors shares of private companies that had the potential to hold an initial public offering.
Nevertheless, as stated in the complaint filed by the SEC, Iakovou and Vika Ventures did not own the shares at the time of the solicitations and had never acquired them in the past. According to the allegations, Iakovou did not use the investor money to purchase the securities but rather spent it on himself. Iakovou is accused of using fraudulent documentation and statements while serving as CEO of Vika Ventures.
His goal was to persuade investors that Vika Ventures was a successful venture capital firm. According to the complaint filed by the SEC, Zbravos, who was Iakovou’s girlfriend at the time, was presented with sufficient warning signs regarding the company’s operations, but she did not take any action to address them, which makes her a negligent participant in the scheme.
It is alleged that Iakovou and Vika Ventures engaged in a straightforward scheme to defraud investors by luring them in with the promise of selling them securities in highly sought-after pre-IPO companies but with no intention whatsoever of purchasing any shares on the investors’ behalf. Instead, it is said that Iakovou squandered millions of dollars on private jets, expensive watches, and extravagant travel “The Associate Director of the SEC Enforcement Division, Carolyn M. Welshhans, made this statement.
This case highlights our commitment to pursuing those who prey on investors by using fake company profiles, misleading websites, and false promises of lucrative pricing of securities. “This case underscores our commitment to pursuing those who prey on investors.”
The complaint against Iakovou, Vika Ventures, and Zbravos was submitted to the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia. The complaint alleges that the defendants violated the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws. Iakovou and Zbravos are being sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the SEC is seeking permanent injunctive relief, disgorgement with prejudgment interest, and civil penalties. Vika Ventures is the target of the complaint, which seeks both temporary and permanent injunctive relief, as well as a civil penalty.
Zbravos has not admitted or denied the allegations, but they have agreed to a permanent injunction against future violations, as well as to pay disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and a civil penalty that the district court will determine. The settlement cannot become final until it has been sanctioned by the district court.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia made the announcement today that they will be filing criminal charges that are connected to this matter as well.
Allison M. Rochford and Michelle I. Bougdanos were the ones in charge of the investigation that was carried out by the SEC, and it was supervised by David Frohlich and Ms. Welshhans. James Carlson is going to be in charge of the litigation. The Securities and Exchange Commission is grateful to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia and the Office of the United States Secret Service in Albany, Georgia for their assistance.
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