header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
90°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
August 15
1849 - Eight-pound gold nugget found in San Feliciano Canyon (Val Verde/Piru area) [story]
map


The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged a Newhall-based investment advisory firm, Criterion Wealth Management Insurance Services, Inc., and its former owners, Robert A. Gravette and Mark MacArthur, both graduates of The Master’s College (now The Master’s University), with defrauding clients in a $16 million investment scheme from 2014 to 2017.

MacArthur is one of four sons of Dr. John F. MacArthur, Chancellor Emeritus of The Master’s University. The elder MacArthur was president of TMU from 1985 until he “transitioned” to his present role at the end of June 2019.

The SEC complaint, a civil enforcement action filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, alleges that Criterion and then-co-owners Gravette and Mark MacArthur breached their fiduciary duty and defrauded their advisory clients by failing to disclose significant financial conflicts of interest when recommending investments in private real estate investment funds, or REITS.

criterion wealth management - robert a gravette

Robert A. Gravette. | Photo: Criterion Wealth Management Insurance Services.

The complaint alleges that Gravette and MacArthur recommended that their advisory clients invest more than $16 million in four private real estate investment funds without disclosing that the fund managers had paid the pair more than $1 million, which was on top of the fees the defendants were already charging their clients directly.

The complaint further alleges Gravette and MacArthur were motivated to keep their clients invested in the funds, rather than allocate their capital elsewhere, because the additional side compensation was recurring and depended on Criterion’s clients remaining invested.

For two of the funds, this undisclosed compensation arrangement resulted in investment losses for the defendants’ advisory clients.

For those alleged actions, the SEC’s complaint charges Criterion, Gravette and MacArthur with violating the antifraud provisions of Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.

The SEC’s complaint further charges Criterion and Gravette with violations of Section 207 of the Advisers Act, and Criterion with violations of Section 206(4) of the Advisers Act and Rule 206(4)-7 thereunder.

criterion wealth management - mark macarthur

Mark MacArthur, former co-owner, Criterion Wealth Management Insurance Services. | Photo: via LinkedIn.

The complaint also charges Gravette and MacArthur with aiding and abetting Criterion’s violations of Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the Advisers Act and Gravette with aiding and abetting Criterion’s violation of Section 207 of the Advisers Act.

“The SEC seeks permanent injunctions prohibiting future violations of the federal securities laws and an order requiring defendants to disgorge their ill-gotten gains with prejudgment interest thereon, and imposing civil penalties,” the complaint reads.

The Defendants
Criterion is a California corporation with offices at 23504 Lyons Avenue, Suite 107, in Newhall that offers discretionary asset management services.

Until September 26, 2018, Criterion was registered with the Commission as an investment adviser. Criterion is currently registered as an investment adviser in California and Idaho, according to the SEC complaint.

Gravette, age 54, resides in Santa Clarita. At present, he is the sole owner and president of Criterion. From 2014 through 2017, Gravette and MacArthur were 50/50 co-owners of Criterion, and Gravette was Criterion’s chief compliance officer.

Gravette has been a registered representative of the broker-dealer at which Criterion investment advisory clients opened brokerage accounts since November 2006. Gravette holds FINRA Series 7, 24, 63, and 65 licenses.

MacArthur, age 52, resides in Newhall. His father, Dr. John F. MacArthur, married wife Patricia in 1963, according to public records.

Mark MacArthur played baseball while attending The Master’s University, and graduated in the class of 1990. He was inducted into the Master’s Hall of Fame in 2010.

“After graduating with a degree in Communication, he was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth round of Major League Baseball’s First-Year Player Draft,” MacArthur’s Hall of Fame webpage entry reads. “He spent two years in the Cardinal organization before moving on to Minnesota where he spent one season (1992) before ‘hanging them up’ for good.

“MacArthur moved back to the Santa Clarita Valley in 2003. … A year later, he founded Criterion Wealth Management with TMC alum Bob Gravette,” the bio reads.

From 2004 to mid-2016, MacArthur was Criterion’s co-owner and chief investment officer. In June 2016, MacArthur became an independent contractor for, but remained associated with, Criterion.

At present, MacArthur is the president, managing member and chief compliance officer of a state-registered investment adviser, M2 Financial LLC, which he formed after leaving his employment with Criterion in mid- 2016.

Like Gravette, MacArthur has been a registered representative of Broker-Dealer since November 2006. MacArthur holds FINRA Series 7, 24, 63, and 65 licenses.

Robert Gravette’s Twitter feed’s second to last entry, on April 28, 2017:

The Master’s University is also in the news this week as the school sought and received a two-year extension for a subdivision project from the Santa Clarita Planning Commission on Wednesday.

The SEC’s investigation was conducted by DoHoang T. Duong and supervised by Spencer Bendell of the Los Angeles Regional Office. The examination that led to the investigation was conducted by Kelly Kibbie and supervised by Kent Woo and Sang W. Lee.

The case was filed as Securities and Exchange Commission v. Criterion Wealth Management Insurance Services, Inc., Robert Allen Gravette, and Mark Andrew MacArthur, No. 2:20-cv-01402, in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on February 12, 2020.

The litigation will be led by Donald W. Searles and supervised by Amy J. Longo.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

7 Comments

  1. John Harambasic says:

    Sorry, Mr. Peeples. Discerning readers of your op-ed piece here can’t escape your veiled anti-Christian bias baked in. By including non-related references to Mark MacArthur’s father, his former college, whom his father is married to and when, placing a simple word “transitioned” in quotes, and citing an entirely unrelated sidenote regarding a 2-year extension for TMU’s subdivision project, you’ve revealed your own personal bias towards the institution of Master’s College and its President, Dr. John MacArthur, as opposed to a bona fide reporting of a criminal act by a relative.

    Gravette and MacArthur would have graduated college some 30 years ago, and Mark MacArthur’s degree has nothing to do with Christian ministry. Were the perpetrators of this crime graduates of USC, or UCLA or COC – would that have been as relevant to your story as TMCU is? Would another man’s father be as “relevant” – say, if the father were a senior editor at SCV News, or a local leader in the LGBQT community for example? I don’t think so.

    Mark MacArthur and Mr. Gravette are fully grown, adult men who have complete capacity – like all men (including yourself) to make moral and/or sinful choices in life. These aren’t collegians caught cheating on a college exam. If you don’t already, you may someday have a son or daughter who make equally bad choices in their late 40s resulting in criminal indictment. Do you want the reporter of that story making sure his or her readers know you’re the parent of that person? How about your wife – the mother of your children? Would she too wish to be tossed into the fray by affiliation alone, thanks to an overzealous reporter looking for a TMZ-style “gotcha”?

    Sadly, Mark MacArthur and his business partner succumbed to the temptation Christians know as the love of money – also known as idolatry in the Faith, and conspired to do wrong by people who trusted them with their treasure. That fact has absolutely NOTHING to do with Dr. John MacArthur (i.e., who he is and what his roles are in the church and college he presides over), or Master’s University (who don’t offer degrees in fiduciary crime), or Patricia MacArthur, or anything or anyone other than themselves. If you believe otherwise, you owe it to your readership to disclose why and how.

    Thankfully, there are a large number of mature adults and Christians in the SCV who know how to differentiate the truth from the hype, and Dr. MacArthur and TMU are held in high esteem and will continue to be, regardless of the crime being reported here. Should the day come when Dr. MacArthur himself, or Master’s University is equally complicit in some felony, that would be the appropriate time to bring them into the story.

  2. jim says:

    Wow! You seem to be taking this personally, or for some other reason. In my reading the story, I never assumed that TMC or anybody else was involved in any (alleged) criminal or moral crimes.

    Just the two individuals named in the story.

    Had this story reported/mentioned COC or CSUN instead of TMC would you have responded in the same way?

  3. Robert James says:

    “Dr. Macarthur is held in high esteem?” and shouldn’t be smeared by his son’s criminal activity?

  4. Robert says:

    Mark Macarthur has been for years a Director of his father’s Grace To You. This is a “Christian” non-profit organization which in has given millions of dollars (donated by Christians) to Kory Welch’s private company. Kory Welch is John Macarthur’s son-in-law and Mark Macarthur’s brother in-law. In another conflict of interest John Macarthur made sure that Kory Welch wrongly profited from TMU. John Macarthur held in high esteem? He’s basically the head of a crime family. BTW, Macarthur admits in his biography that he was at the Lorraine Motel on the same day MLK was killed in 1968!! Why was he really there?

  5. Barbara says:

    John MacArthur is a false teacher of works-based Lordship Salvation. It is estimated that he earns approximately $2 million per year from salaries at Grace Community Church, Grace to You, The Masters University, several organizations, book royalties and speaking engagements. (There is evidence that his books are written by others.) Not to mention that Masters University is on probation for MacArthur’s financial scams, conflicts of interest and abuse of students. And why was John MacArthur at the Lorraine Motel when Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated and why was he arrested shortly thereafter? Why aren’t the police records of his arrest available?

  6. Robert says:

    Barbara, You ask a good question: “Why aren’t the police records of his (John Macarthur’s ) arrest available?” Phil Johnson, the head of Macarthur’s Grace To You and his minister of propaganda, in an effort at damage control, stated that Macarthur was arrested shortly after the MLK assassination for “preaching the gospel.” Needless to say, no one believes this is true, but what else could Johnson say given that Macarthur employs him?

  7. Barbara says:

    John MacArthur was arrested for “preaching the gospel” in Mississippi in 1968? Billy Graham preached the gospel in Mississippi and other states in the Deep South, known as the Bible Belt, in the 50s through the 70s. Billy Graham was never arrested for preaching the gospel, so what was the real reason MacArthur was arrested?

Leave a Comment


Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1849 - Eight-pound gold nugget found in San Feliciano Canyon (Val Verde/Piru area) [story]
map
1986 - Canyon Country's Mitchell adobe demolished; components salvaged & later rebuilt at Heritage Junction [story]
Mitchell adobe
1961 - First Mass celebrated at new Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church (3rd building) in Newhall. Cardinal McIntyre attends [story]
OLPH
Are you worried about getting diabetes? Have you been told that you have pre-diabetes? One out of three American adults has prediabetes.
Aug. 16: Henry Mayo Hosts Diabetes Prevention Program
Avian influenza refers to a family of influenza or flu viruses that commonly infect birds.
L.A. County Public Health Urges Public to Protect Pet Birds from Bird Flu
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed 19 new deaths throughout L.A. County, 3,995 new cases countywide and 112 new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Friday COVID Roundup: County Moves to Medium Community Level
Marvel Comics’ best-known, tree-like sentient being, Groot, a character that became widely popular through the action comedy "Guardians of the Galaxy," gets his own animated show on Disney+ this week.
CalArts Alum Kirsten Lepore Brings ‘I am Groot’ to Disney+
Work along the I-5 corridor in Burbank continues and will include nighttime lane reductions and the closing of the Verdugo Avenue off-ramp during the week of Aug. 15 to Aug. 18.
I-5 Corridor Improvements Include Nighttime Lane Reductions
As part of his legislative package calling on accountability, transparency, and integrity in the state government's procurement process, Senator Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, announced Senate Bill 1271 (SB 1271) passed out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee on Aug. 11.
Wilk’s Measure Increasing Transparency Passes Assembly Committee
The early portion of The Master's University women's soccer team's schedule in 2022 will have a national tournament-type feel.
TMU Women’s Soccer To Play Top Teams on Florida, Indiana Trips
Princess Cruises today announced updated COVID-19 protocols and guidelines, removing the vaccine requirement for most voyages of less than 16 days so that anyone can cruise and adjusting pre-travel testing requirements to make it less complicated.
Princess Cruises Removes Vaccine Requirement for Most Sailings
As the summer travel season wraps up, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reminds drivers to be responsible and never drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
Aug. 17-Sept. 5: LASD Will Increase End-of-Summer DUI Patrols, Checkpoints
Historically, California has been the most wildfire prone state in the United States. In 2021, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, reported over 4,000 fires that burned 60,507 acres across the state.
Ken Striplin | Keep Your Family, Home and Property Safe from Wildfires
The county of Los Angeles Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission is hosting a Special Hearing on Deputy Gangs in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Aug: 19 Special Hearing on L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputy Gangs
1944 - Newhall Refinery on Sierra Highway destroyed by fire (then rebuilt) [watch film]
Newsreel
As local students get ready to head back to class for the new school year, your Salvation Army Santa Clarita Corps wants to ensure they have the supplies and resources necessary for success.
Salvation Army Santa Clarita Hosting Back-to-School Drive
The Rancho Camulos National Historic Landmark Presents: "Sundays at the Landmark" on Sunday, Aug. 28, with Dave Berg. He will present "Stories to Share.
Aug. 28: Author Dave Berg Presents ‘Stories to Share’ at Rancho Camulos
The WiSH Education Foundation's much-anticipated Cocktails on the Roof event is back for the community to enjoy on Saturday, Nov. 19, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Subaru of Valencia campus.
Nov. 19: Cocktails on the Roof Returns with ‘Share the Love’ Event
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station is reminding residents that no one will ever call your home demanding payment for "outstanding warrants."
SCV Sheriff’s Station Warning Residents of Scam Calls
Carousel Ranch, in Agua Dulce, was presented with a $5,000 donation from the Logix Federal Credit Union Community Stars Foundation.
Logix Foundation Donates $5K to Carousel Ranch
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Thursday no additional deaths and 107 new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley, with a total of 15 new deaths and 4,345 new cases countywide.
Thursday COVID Roundup: 107 New SCV Cases; No Additional Deaths
The California Department of Transportation announces overnight full closures of Interstate 210 in the San Fernando Valley for striping and staging of a temporary lane configuration for a paving project.
Caltrans Announces Full I-210 Closures
The Valencia High School Band and Color Guard will hold a Clothes 4 Cash clothing drive fundraiser every Tuesday, Aug. 16 to Sept. 13.
Valencia Band, Color Guard Holding Clothes 4 Cash Fundraiser
2018 - Big Oaks Lodge in Bouquet Canyon burns down [video]
Big Oaks Lodge
SCVNews.com
%d bloggers like this: