A Chattanooga-based investment company, named in a Ponzi scheme along with former chief executive John J. Woods, is denying allegations of wrongdoing made by federal regulators.
Attorneys for Livingston Group Asset Management Co., which does business as Southport Capital, also said in court papers that the firm denies any liability related to investors in a fund used in the alleged Ponzi scheme.
They said the regulators’ asserted claims and damages were caused, if at all, “by intervening events over which Southport had no control in, was not involved in and for which it is not responsible.”
In August, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission accused Woods, 56, and Southport Capital of six counts of securities fraud in “a massive Ponzi scheme.” The complaint said the scheme went by the name Horizon Private Equity and collected more than $110 million from over 400 investors with promises of 6-7% rates of return.
The SEC said the investments “are worth far too little for there to be any realistic prospect that the Ponzi scheme will be able to pay back existing investors their principal, let alone the promised returns.”
Southport attorneys Gerald B. Kline and Anthony L. Cochran, both of Atlanta, said on Tuesday in court papers that the company denies it has violated any statutes. It’s also seeking a jury trial as did Woods in an earlier filing in which he denied wrongdoing.
The firm’s lawyers said Woods, who lives in Marietta, Georgia but grew up in…