The SEC hit Peter H. Pocklington, owner of Nova Oculus and former owner of the Edmonton Oilers, and five others with a lawsuit that claims they defrauded investors of $14 million.
Pocklington, a Canadian citizen who goes by Puck, is accused of using Nova Oculus Partners, formerly The Eye Machine, to solicit funds from 260 investors who weren’t told of his convictions for securities fraud
In its suit, the SEC alleges Pocklington and his attorney, Lantson E. Eldred, structured the ownership of The Eye Machine to conceal Pocklington’s role with the company and held Eldred out as the company’s front man. Pocklington, Eldred, and The Eye Machine allegedly withheld Pocklington’s history and involvement, and misrepresented how investor funds would be spent. The agency claims Pocklington misappropriated over $600,000 of investor funds for personal use, including financing his gold mining companies and paying personal legal and credit card bills.
The suit also names Yolanda C. Velazquez, Vanessa Puleo, and Robert A. Vanetten, who the SEC claims acted as unregistered brokers for the company. According to the complaint, Velazquez – who had been barred from acting as a broker-dealer – and Puleo used “boiler room” operations to lure investors.
The SEC’s case, which was filed in federal court in California, charges The Eye Machine, Pocklington, and Eldred with violating the antifraud and securities registration provisions. The Eye Machine’s majority shareholder, AMC Holdings, and Terrence J. Walton, The Eye Machine’s in-house accountant, are also charged with securities fraud violations. Velazquez, Puleo, and Vanetten were hit with broker-dealer registration and securities registration violations. Additionally, Velazquez is charged with violating a prior SEC order barring her from associating with a broker-dealer.