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The Securities and Exchange Commission charged in federal court today (June 24) that Moises Pacheco of Chula Vista has fleeced more than 200 investors in a Ponzi-like scheme. Pacheco raised $14.7 million through five hedge funds over a three and a half year period, according to the agency. He initially promised investors a return of 2.5% to 4% a month; in January of last year, citing deteriorating economic conditions, he lowered that to 1.25% a month -- still eyebrow-raising. The investors believed they were receiving a total of $9.7 million. However, Pacheco's trading profits from the purchase and sale of covered call options was only $367,000, according to the SEC. Pacheco made no effort to determine whether his investors were sophisticated enough to participate. He did not provide them with financial statements. Pacheco was not registered with the SEC.

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