SEC freezes assets of 2 Brewer financial firms

By Mary Ellen Podmolik
Posted Oct. 29, 2010 at 4:27 p.m.

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday obtained an emergency court order to freeze the assets of Brewer Financial Services LLC and Brewer Investment Advisors LLC, two Chicago firms it alleged were funneling funds from investors to subsidize their own troubled companies.

The SEC alleged that firm owners Steven Brewer and Adam Erickson raised about $5.6 million from 74 investors between June 2009 and Sept. 30, 2010, using offering materials that misstated or concealed how the funds would be used, the risk level of the investment and the financial condition of their companies.

“Brewer and Erickson raised substantial funds to capitalize their own struggling business operations while leading unsuspecting investors to believe their investments would be secured by collateral,” Donald Hoerl, director of the SEC’s Denver office, said in a statement. “They went so far as to continue selling promissory notes to new investors even after they discontinued making interest payments to earlier investors.”

The SEC’s complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago, charged that 90 percent of the proceeds from the offering were disbursed to Brewer and Erickson’s parent company, Brewer Investment Group.

Calls to the company’s Chicago office seeking a comment from Brewer and Erickson were directed to a New York-based spokeswoman for the company, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Brewer Investment Group is a financial services holding company. Brewer Financial Services LLC is a broker-dealer headquartered in Chicago with 87 registered associates in 25 branches in Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Arizona, Florida, Massachusetts, and Missouri, according to the SEC complaint.


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  1. Shota Oct. 29, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    It is amazing that even in the 21st century we have to deal with corruption and fraud in developed countries. SEC has to come out with tools to prevent these kinds of Ponzi schemes” in the future!


  2. Creative Minds Nov. 5, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    I agree that we were wrong but you guys have no idea what pressure we were under. Walk in our shoes before you make your comments.