The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday charged podcaster Matthew Motil in connection with an $11 million Ponzi scheme that allegedly defrauded more than 50 people.
The agency said in a press release that Motil, host of ‘The Cash Flow King’ podcast, encouraged investors to buy promissory notes that he said were backed by first mortgages on homes in Ohio.
An email to Motil’s attorney was not immediately returned.
The SEC said Motil told investors that he would generate quick profits for them as he renovated, resold, refinanced, or rented out the properties they helped him buy.
Motil promoted the investments as low risk and high return, according to the SEC.
However, the SEC said that instead of investing the money, Motil used funds to pay ‘returns’ to other investors — a classic Ponzi scheme pattern — and also used money to rent a lakeside mansion and buy courtside season tickets to watch the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team.
In a complaint filed against Motil, the SEC said Motil made $3.7 million in Ponzi payments, spent $1.6 million in investor money on personal items and diverted more than $900,000 to other businesses. Motil also allegedly made $400,000 in credit card payments on behalf of his wife, Amy Motil, who is named in the lawsuit as a relief defendant.
The complaint also said he spent tens of thousands of dollars on items from Best Buy, iTunes, Starbucks and on student loan repayments.
The SEC said Motil frequently ‘sold’ the same property to many investors, in one instance selling promissory notes to 20 different investors, raising $1.3 million for a property he’d bought for just $47,000. The SEC’s complaint said the property was never valued at more than $130,000.
Motil told all of these investors they were getting first lien mortgages, meaning they would be the first people repaid after he sold the property, according to the SEC.
After the Ponzi scheme collapsed, Motil filed for personal bankruptcy to get out of paying the debts he owned to his investors, the SEC said in the complaint.
The SEC’s complaint was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. Motil is charged with violating the registration and antifraud provisions of the Securities Act of 1933 and the antifraud provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
Motil’s Amazon author page says he is a former construction laborer who worked his way up into management and attained wealth through real estate investing. It also says he’s worked with hundreds of investors worldwide.