Man, Son, Daughter Allegedly Spent Investor Money On Cars, Jewelry, Vitamins

07/18/2012 10:33 am ET | Updated Sep 17, 2012

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Securities and Exchange Commission says an Ohio man, his son and his daughter pocketed millions they raised from investors who thought they were buying a stake in a lucrative gold mine.

The SEC filed a civil lawsuit Tuesday in federal court in Portland, Ore., against Harry Dean Proudfoot III of Mt. Vernon, Ohio, Matthew Dale Proudfoot of Colbert, Wash., and Laurie Anne Vrvilo of Tigard, Ore.

Investigators say their Portland-based company raised at least $2.7 million from about 140 investors in 23 states. Authorities say the company did not have rights to mine much of the property it claimed, and the family instead spent the money on cars, jewelry, vacations and vitamin supplements.

Lawyers for the three defendants did not immediately return calls seeking comment.