The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has barred a former Edward Jones broker who had ties to a cannabis company shut down by the Securities and Exchange Commission for alleged fraud, including the operation of a Ponzi-like scheme.
Alexandria Porter Bovee, who uses several aliases, including Aia Montgomery and Alexandria Jo-Marie Porter, consented to the bar rather than participate in a Finra investigation into whether she violated the regulator’s rules or federal securities laws in connection with the offer or sale of securities in the company, Integrated National Resources (INR), which does business as WeedGenics. She did not admit or deny the findings, the SEC noted.
Bovee, 37, a resident of Las Vegas or Dalzell, S.C., according to the SEC complaint, began her career in 2019 with Edward Jones. She voluntarily resigned on Dec. 24, 2022, and the firm filed a Form U5 terminating her registration on January 25.
Finra said it learned that Bovee was named as a relief defendant in the SEC complaint from an investor complaint form it received referencing the case, the Securities and Exchange Commission v. Integrated National Resources Inc., et al.
According to the complaint, from in or around June 2019 to at least April 2023, INR/WeedGenics and its owners advertised opportunities to invest in its cannabis cultivation and retail distribution business through its website and other investment forums/websites, the SEC said. The firm was operated by Rolf Max Hirschmann, 52, of Eagle, Idaho, who is known to the investors as “Max Bergmann,” and Patrick Earl Williams, 34, of St. Petersburg, Fla., who had an online presence as “BigRigBaby,”
Investors were led to believe that their funds would be used to develop and expand a cannabis cultivation facility in Adelanto, Calif., and that the business would generate regular interest payments for investors. They were also told that the company’s facilities in California and Nevada were making millions in revenue each year, and the investments were stable and guaranteed. “Defendants also represented that they had the requisite licenses and permits necessary to operate such facilities. In truth, however, all of this was a sham,” the SEC said.
The funds were instead transferred to multiple accounts controlled by Williams and Hirschmann and used to pay for personal items such as luxury cars, residential upgrades, jewelry and adult entertainment, as well as to pay off other investors, the SEC said.
In all, INR/WeedGenics raised about $61.7 million—including more than $22.4 million from November 2022 to April 2023—from about 350 investors nationwide. More than $16 million of investor money was spent on Ponzi-like distributions, the SEC said.
In May, the agency obtained an emergency order to shut down the INR, claiming the cannabis business was fraudulent.
According to the SEC, Bovee began communicating with INR investors around September 2022 to get them to restructure their investments. Identifying herself as “Aia Montgomery” to investors, Bovee contacted investors to inform them that INR was “going through major changes,” and as a result, investor payments would also change.