SEC v. Hope Advisors, LLC, 1:16-CV-01752-LMM
Welcome to the Hope Advisors Fair Fund Website
If you invested in the HI Fund during the period from December 1, 2012 through March 31, 2016, inclusive, are not an Excluded Party as defined in the Plan, and suffered a loss according to the Plan, you may be eligible for a Distribution Payment from the Hope Advisors Fair Fund.
The information contained on this website is a summary of the information presented in more detail in, among other things, the Complaint, the Plan Notice, and the Distribution Plan approved by the Court, all of which you can review through the “Important Documents” tab on this website.
You should visit this website often to get the most up-to-date information on the Distribution Fund.
On August 30, 2017, the SEC filed an Amended Complaint against Hope Advisors, LLC (“Hope”); its principal, Karen Bruton (“Bruton”), and two Hope employees, Todd Wortman (“Wortman”), and Dawn Roberts (“Roberts”) (collectively, “Defendants”) alleging that Hope and Bruton perpetrated a scheme to charge unearned fees to Hope Investments LLC (the “HI Fund”), a fund they managed. The Amended Complaint further alleged that Roberts and Wortman aided and abetted this fraud. On September 13, 2018, the Court entered the Consent Final Judgments against Hope and Bruton.
On September 18, 2018, the Court entered the Consent Final Judgment against Wortman and Roberts. The Court imposed, jointly and severally, disgorgement and civil penalties against Hope and Bruton of $1,237,235.00 and $250,000.00, respectively. The Court imposed civil penalties against Wortman and Roberts of $100,000.00 and $75,000.00, respectively. The Defendants paid a total of $1,660,370.65.
The Hope Advisors Fair Fund and the Distribution Agent
On July 16, 2019, the Court established a fair fund pursuant to Section 308(a) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, so the penalties, along with the disgorgement collected can be distributed to those harmed by the Defendants’ conduct described in the Amended Complaint (the “Fair Fund”).
The Fair Fund is currently on deposit in an interest-bearing account at the United States Treasury Department’s Bureau of Fiscal Service. Also, on July 16, 2019, Miller Kaplan Arase, LLP was appointed as Tax Administrator (the “Tax Administrator”) to handle the tax obligations of the Fair Fund. On November 25, 2019, JND Legal Administration (“JND”) was appointed as the Distribution Agent (the “Distribution Agent”) to assist in overseeing the administration of the Fair Fund in consultation with Commission staff, pursuant to the terms of this Distribution Plan (the “Plan”).
You can review and download a copy of these Orders, the Plan and other documents from the "Important Documents" tab of this website dedicated to this matter.
The Distribution Plan
On March 1, 2021, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia approved a plan for the distribution of the Fair Fund (the “Plan”). The Plan, available on the "Important Documents" tab of this website, sets forth the criteria and methodology by which eligibility will be determined and Distribution Payments calculated, as well as the procedures for distributing the assets of the Fair Fund to investors harmed by the conduct alleged in the Amended Complaint.
How do I obtain more information?
Additional information can be found by visiting the “Important Documents” tab or the “Frequently Asked Questions” tab visible at the top of this webpage. You can obtain information additional to that available through this website by contacting the Distribution Agent toll-free at 1-877-313-0224; by emailing info@HopeAdvisorsFairFund.com; or by mailing a letter to:
Hope Advisors Fair Fund
c/o JND Legal Administration
PO Box 91379
Seattle, WA 98111