SEC sues “Empowerment Project” Mike G Deal promoters
The SEC has sued two additional promoters of the Mike G Deal (aka CoinDeal).
Arline Woodbury (70) and Joyce Holverson (76), stand accused of “making and/or disseminating various false statements about CoinDeal when soliciting prospective investors.”
The Mike G Deal, which the SEC has named CoinDeal), was a fraudulent investment scheme created by Neil Suresh Chandran.
Michael Glaspie (right) was the face of the scam and oversaw recruitment of new investors.
Woodbury and Holverson are two top Mike G Deal promoters.
Woodbury was introduced to CoinDeal by Glaspie. Woodbury, in turn, recruited Holverson, who then created an investor group called Empowerment Project.
The SEC alleges the pair
raised and then transferred millions of dollars upstream to CoinDeal’s public spokesman, Michael Glaspie, while baselessly vouching for Glaspie’s credibility; consciously or recklessly disregarding myriad red flags about CoinDeal’s legitimacy; and failing to disclose their own personal use of investor funds.
Of the $3 million Woodbury and Holverson solicited for the Mike G Deal, they kept “at least $360,000”.
Woodbury enriched herself by misappropriating at least $190,000 for personal use, including approximately $36,000 for travel and approximately $60,000 for a friend’s college tuition.
Holverson enriched herself by misappropriating at least $170,000 for personal use, most of which was used to save her house from foreclosure.
Through Empowerment Project, Woodbury and Holverson recruited church members.
Woodbury hosted at least one teleconference in 2020 with a group of more than ten potential investors affiliated with a church.
During the teleconference, Woodbury vouched for Glaspie and the legitimacy of the deal, presented the astronomical payout amounts being offered, and shared her bank account information.
Multiple new investors participated in CoinDeal following the teleconference.
As part of their own fraud, Woodbury and Holverson deceived their recruited Mike G Deal investors by secretly reducing their promised payouts.
Holverson typically modified Glaspie’s written updates before sharing them with Empowerment Project members, by removing the payout numbers Glaspie offered so that she would be able to determine final payout amounts and keep a larger portion of any realized profit.
On certain occasions, Woodbury herself changed the payout terms offered by Glaspie (lowering them to her benefit) before relaying his latest update to Holverson.
At its worst, this resulted in a $25 million return pitched by Glaspie reduced to $15 million by Woodbury, and then reduced again to just $2 million by Holverson.
When queried by investors on the Mike G Deal constituting an unregistered securities offering, Holverson lied.
The legal world was my home for over 30 years. I taught law classes as part of my court reporting college teaching career, and my husband was an attorney in the Chicago area for over 35 years.
I’m well aware of legal implications in anything that I’m involved in.
At no time was he (Glaspie) presenting this as buying stock or securities. We were presented with an involvement structured as a “collateralized personal loan with 7% payback in 3 years if this deal falls through in several written notices to us.
As Holverson has now found out, it doesn’t matter what you call a securities offering – it’s still a securities offering.
As a result of their conduct, Woodbury and Holverson intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly committed securities fraud and offered and sold unregistered securities.
At time of publication the Empowerment Project’s website is still online at “empowermentproject.me”.
The last update is dated March 14th, 2022 and is signed off on by “Joyce”.
Neil Chandran (right) was arrested a few months later in June 2022.
The vast majority of CoinDeal investors have not received the return of their principal investment amounts, and no investors have received any promised profits on their investments.
The SEC has charged Holverson and Woodbury with multiple violations of the Securities and Exchange Act.
A permanent injunction is being sought, as well as disgorgement and civil penalties. Stay tuned for updates as we continue to track the case.
I want to note that while the Mike G Deal itself wasn’t MLM, BehindMLM took an interest owing to Michael Glaspie (Glaspie) being involved in and funnelling Mike G Deal investors into various MLM opportunities.
I had limited BehindMLM’s coverage of the Mike G Deal to Glaspie but, due to reader demand every time I publish an update, will be covering cases against the other defendants.
Here’s a rundown of current proceedings against the Mike G Deal defendants;
- Neil Suresh Chandran and Bryan Lee (criminal proceedings) – telephonic conference scheduled for November 7th, 2023
- Michael Glaspie (criminal proceedings) – pled guilty in February 2023, scheduled to be sentenced on October 2nd, 2023
- Neil Chandran, Garry Davidson, Linda Knott, AEO Publishing INC., Banner Co-Op INC., BannsersGO LLC (civil proceedings) – entry of defaults recorded on August 1st, motions for default judgment filed by the SEC pending
- Michael Glaspie and wife Amy Mossel (civil proceedings) – summary judgments expected pending Glaspie’s October 2023 sentencing