Erez Law is currently investigating Enviso Capital, LLC and its principals, Ryan Bowers (CRD #3237368) and Jeffrey LaBerge (CRD #4847129) regarding losses sustained from investments in Bluefin Renewable Energy, LLC, a non-publicly traded company. Enviso Capital, LLC is a California limited liability company (LLC), headquartered in San Diego, California, with assets under management of $144 million as of November 14, 2016. Bowers served as Enviso Capital’s managing principal and chief compliance officer since its inception, and was responsible for portfolio management for Enviso Capital’s separately managed account business and managed private funds. LaBerge served as Enviso Capital’s principal since 2007, and his responsibilities included portfolio management for Enviso Capital’s separately managed account business and managed private funds, as well as formulating valuations.
In July 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged Enviso Capital, LLC, and its principals, Bowers and LaBerge with overstating the value of two of its private funds, which held an interest in Bluefin Renewable Energy, LLC. Enviso Capital, LLC served as the investment adviser for two private funds. Enviso Capital, LLC also served as the investment adviser to Heritage Opportunity Fund, LLC, (HOF) a Delaware limited liability company, that raised a total of $10 million of in-kind securities and cash contributions from approximately 73 investors. HOF became insolvent in 2014 and dissolved in 2015. Enviso Capital, LLC served as the investment adviser to Heritage Dividend Fund, LLC, (HDF) a Delaware limited liability company that it sold to its individual clients primarily from 2008 through 2010 with an investment objective of acquiring dividend-oriented and high-income generating investments, raising a total of $15 million from approximately 98 investors. Enviso Capital is in the process of winding down HDF. Bluefin Renewable Energy, LLC, a private California limited liability company, was organized on May 10, 2013 to succeed to the business of BioGold Fuels Corporation, previously a public renewable energy company. HOF and HDF each owned interests in Bluefin until December 2014 when Bluefin was written down to zero.
Between 2011 and 2014, Bluefin Renewable Energy, LLC had only one asset – a renewable energy project under development in Tecate, Mexico. Although the Bowers and LaBerge were aware that Bluefin Renewable Energy, LLC never reached milestones necessary to building the project, they used unreasonable assumptions when applying the discounted cash flow method to value Bluefin Renewable Energy, LLC. According to the SEC order, Enviso Capital, LLC overvalued Bluefin Renewable Energy, LLC in financial statements that were provided to the funds’ investors and failed to use reasonable assumptions regarding projected revenues.
Additionally, the SEC complaint alleges that Enviso Capital, LLC assumed that Bluefin Renewable Energy, LLC would sell energy within 24 to 30 month, however financing for the project was not obtained, construction did not begin, and no contracts with energy purchasers were started. Bowers, LaBerge and Enviso Capital, LLC consented to the entry of the cease-and-desist order and agreed to each pay civil penalties of $50,000. Bowers and LaBerge were barred from the securities industry, but they can reapply in two years.
Bowers was registered with WFG Investments, Inc. in San Diego, California from 2009 to 2013 and with Securities America, Inc. in Scottsdale, Arizona from 2002 to 2007, when he was terminated regarding, “Representative was under investigation by the firm. In 2005 & 2006, he acted as a solicitor for several private placements without notification and approval from the broker/dealer. Remuneration in the form of warrants was received. Representative was found to have sold away from the broker/dealer.” Bowers has been the subject of two customer complaints in 2016, according to his CRD report:
- September 2016. “Claimant alleges misrepresentation and omissions related to recommendations on investments and the suitability of those investments.” The customer is seeking $2 million in damages and the case is currently pending.
- March 2016. “Claimants allege misrepresentation and omissions related to recommendations on investments and the suitability of those investments.” The customer is seeking $275,000 in damages and the case is currently pending.
Additionally in September 2015, FINRA suspended Bowers for five months and sanctioned to $25,000 in civil and administrative penalties and fines after he consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that he was aware of but failed to provide updated valuation information regarding private equity funds, resulting in false account statements representing to investors that their positions were unchanged when they in fact had declined. According to the FINRA investigation, the funds raised approximately $22 million in cash and securities from investors.
LaBerge was registered with WFG Investments, Inc. in San Diego, California from 2009 to 2013 and with Securities America, Inc. in San Diego, California from 2004 to 2007, when he was terminated regarding, “Participation in a private placement as an investor and solicitor without prior firm notification and approval.”
Pursuant to FINRA Rules, member firms are responsible for supervising a broker’s activities during the time the broker is registered with the firm. Therefore, Enviso Capital, LLC may be liable for investment or other losses suffered by Bower’s and LaBerge’s customers.
Erez Law represents investors in the United States for claims against brokers and brokerage firms for wrongdoing. If and have experienced investment losses, please call us at 888-840-1571 or complete our contact form for a free consultation. Erez Law is a nationally recognized law firm representing individuals, trusts, corporations and institutions in claims against brokerage firms, banks and insurance companies on a contingency fee basis.