A Rancho Santa Margarita man labeled a “securities fraud recidivist” and an accomplice are suspected of defrauding investors out of at least $763,500 by making false claims about a nonexistent pharmaceutical company, according to federal investigators.

A U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission complaint filed in federal court last week alleges Lambert Vander Tuig, while using an alias to hide a 2014 conviction in connection with a $50 million Ponzi scheme, sold unregistered investments in Biosynetics, a company he claimed was registered in Wyoming.

Ben Schachtschneider, a “cold caller” from Costa Mesa who allegedly worked closely with Vander Tuig in the scheme, also is named as a defendant in the complaint.

The SEC is seeking injunctive relief against Vander Tuig and Schachtschneider along with unspecified civil penalties. Vander Tuig and Schachtschneider could not be reached for comment Wednesday, July 7.

False claims

From May 2018 until at…

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