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Chula Vista firm charged with cheating investors

Used fraudulent practices to steer bonds to brokers

A now-defunct Chula Vista firm, RMR Asset Management, and its head, Ralph Riccardi, used fraudulent schemes to deprive individual investors of municipal bonds, according to a suit filed Tuesday (August 14) in federal court.

Individual, or retail investors, want municipal bonds because of their tax advantages. So the government goes out of its way to permit individuals to buy new issues of municipal bonds.

But according to the suit, Riccardi and a dozen of his fellow alleged schemers used fraudulent methods to “flip” the bonds to broker-dealers for a fee, thus depriving individuals a chance to buy the bonds. To pull off the scheme, the defendants misrepresented their identities, used fictitious business names, manipulated sales tickets, and falsified their locations, according to the securities agency.

Only one of the 12 Riccardi associates, David Lutteg, is from San Diego, and he appears to have played a minor role. RMR, which operated out of a home, was closed down earlier this year. Riccardi and the others settled with the agency without admiting or denying the charges, a practice that is common in securities agency cases. However, the defendants have agreed to return their ill-gotten gains and may be subject to industry bars or suspensions.

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A now-defunct Chula Vista firm, RMR Asset Management, and its head, Ralph Riccardi, used fraudulent schemes to deprive individual investors of municipal bonds, according to a suit filed Tuesday (August 14) in federal court.

Individual, or retail investors, want municipal bonds because of their tax advantages. So the government goes out of its way to permit individuals to buy new issues of municipal bonds.

But according to the suit, Riccardi and a dozen of his fellow alleged schemers used fraudulent methods to “flip” the bonds to broker-dealers for a fee, thus depriving individuals a chance to buy the bonds. To pull off the scheme, the defendants misrepresented their identities, used fictitious business names, manipulated sales tickets, and falsified their locations, according to the securities agency.

Only one of the 12 Riccardi associates, David Lutteg, is from San Diego, and he appears to have played a minor role. RMR, which operated out of a home, was closed down earlier this year. Riccardi and the others settled with the agency without admiting or denying the charges, a practice that is common in securities agency cases. However, the defendants have agreed to return their ill-gotten gains and may be subject to industry bars or suspensions.

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NOTE: I didn't make it clear that this suit was filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Sorry. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 16, 2018

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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