July 28, 2016 / 9:10 PM / 3 years ago

SEC freezes assets of Utah-based Ponzi scheme operator

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Thursday it had frozen the assets of the operator of a Utah-based Ponzi scheme that raised more than $207 million from investors worldwide, mainly in the United States, India and Russia.

In a complaint filed in federal court in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, the SEC alleged that Traffic Monsoon LLC and Charles Scoville, its only member, falsely represented the company as a successful advertising firm, but raised more than 99 percent of its funds from new investors.

Scoville began Traffic Monsoon in October 2014 as a combination internet traffic exchange and pay-per-click program and signed up more than 162,000 investors globally, the federal regulator said in a statement.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Writing by Eric Walsh; Editing by Eric Beech

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