Essex Capital Corporation and its founder, Ralph Iannelli, have been charged with securities fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with an alleged $80 million dollars “promissory note” investment scheme.

Securities lawyers Alan Rosca and Paul Scarlato are investigating and preparing to take action on behalf of Essex investors, against certain investment advisors and other parties that may be responsible for investor losses. Investors are encouraged to contact attorneys Rosca and Scarlato for a free, no obligation evaluation of their recovery options.

On June 6, 2018, the SEC accused Santa Barbara-based Essex of raising tens of millions of dollars from approximately 70 investors across the country, ostensibly to invest in equipment leasing deals. In reality, Essex and Iannelli allegedly investor money to pay “returns” to other investors, in Ponzi scheme fashion.

The SEC’s complaint indicates that Iannelli and Essex recruited two registered investment advisors to help them raise money from investors.

Attorneys Alan Rosca and Paul Scarlato are aware of the identities of the two investment advisory firms and have reached out to investors.

One of the investment advisors was located in Santa Barbara, California, and recruited investors to Essex Capital starting in 2002. More recently, between 2015 and 2017 this advisor helped raise in excess of $8 million from over 20 investors for Essex Capital Corporation.

The second investment advisor was located in New York City, and recruited about 15 clients to invest in Essex Capital, between 2015 and 2016. This advisor’s customers invested about $23 million in Essex Capital.

The two advisors allegedly relied upon Iannelli and Essex’ assurances and misrepresentations, including false accounting, the SEC charged.

In reality, Essex Capital was a Ponzi scheme, the SEC alleged. The scheme suffered massive losses between 2014 and 2016 as it used most of its revenues to make Ponzi payments to its investors and repay its banks, instead of investing the money in its business as promised.

Essex paid at least $15 million in Ponzi-like returns to investors since 2014, the SEC alleged.

Iannelli is a recidivist violator of the securities rules and regulations, according to the SEC complaint. In 1974, the SEC charged Iannelli with violating the federal securities laws by trading in customer accounts without authorization to manipulate the price of a traded stock.

What Should Essex Investors Do

If you invested in Essex, you should contact the securities lawyers at the Goldman Scarlato & Penny law firm, Alan Rosca and Paul Scarlato for a free, no-obligation evaluation of your matter and discussion about potential recovery options.

Attorneys Rosca and Scarlato prosecute cases on behalf of investors across the country, arising out of investment fraud. Investment professionals have a duty to conduct adequate due diligence before recommending a new investment to their customers. They must carefully scrutinize both the investment product and its issuer and the management. Any red flags must be further investigated.

Financial professionals may not simply rely on an issuer’s representations and recommend the new investment to their customers without vetting such representations. When they do so, they may be held liable to investors for their losses.

Contact Attorneys Alan Rosca or Paul Scarlato if You Lost Money Invested in Essex Capital

If you lost money invested in Ralph Iannelli’s Essex Capital Corporation, our law firm may be able to help recover your losses. We typically work on a contingency fee basis, advance the case costs, and only get paid for our time and case expenses if and when we recover money for our clients. We have considerable experience prosecuting cases on behalf of investors against financial industry entities, brokerage firms, banks, and investment professionals who perpetrate or assist fraudulent investment programs. Attorney Alan Rosca, a securities lawyer and adjunct professor of securities regulation, has represented thousands of victimized investors across the country and around the world in cases ranging from arbitrations to class actions.

Investors who believe they lost money as a result of Ralph Iannelli’s alleged fraud may contact attorneys Alan Rosca or Paul Scarlato for a free, no-obligation evaluation of their recovery options, at 888-998-0530, via email at, or through the contact form on this webpage.