Securities Industry Commentator by Bill Singer Esq

April 12, 2018

EC Detects Brokers Defrauding Customers (SEC Litigation Release 24108)
The SEC filed a Complaint in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York alleging that New York-based brokers William C. Gennity and Rocco Roveccio recommended investments that involved frequent buying and selling of securities without any reasonable basis to believe their customers would profit. Further, the Complaint asserts that Gennity and Roveccio churned customer accounts, engaged in unauthorized trading, and concealed material information about transactional costs from their customers. The SEC alleged customer losses of $683,038 while Gennity and Roveccio allegedly received about $280,000 and $206,000, respectively, in commissions and fees. Separately, broker Laurence M. Torres settled SEC charges against him that he had no reasonable basis to believe it that his recommended frequent trading was suitable for his customers, and that he also had engaged in churning and made unauthorized trades. Without admitting or denying the findings, Torres agreed to be barred from the securities industry and penny stock trading, and he must pay $225,359.36 in disgorgement plus $25,748.02 in interest, and a $160,000 penalty. READ the FULL TEXT SEC ComplaintSecurities and Exchange Commission v. William C. Gennity and Rocco Roveccio (17-CV-07424 , SDNY)

Drinking, Driving, Felonies, And A Wall Street Regulatory Head-On Collision ( Blog)
Drinking and driving is never a good idea. In today's Blog, we cover yet another instance of the impact of drinking, driving, felony charges, and felony pleas on a registered representative's Wall Street career. It is a sobering message.

Jamaican man admits to scamming Americans with lottery scam (DOJ Press Release)
Zicko Peterkin pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with his role in a scam involving unsolicited phone calls and emails making false claims that the recipients had won a multi-million dollar lottery prize and a Mercedes Benz vehicle. Peterkin sent images of forged cashier's checks to the recipients with their name as the payee, and victims were told that they needed to send processing fees in order to obtain their prizes. At least $250,000 was wired to Peterkin and his co-conspirators. Puhlease tell your grandmother and grandfather about this case the next time they tell you about the call that they got informing them that they won a foreign lottery!

Nigerian Man Pleads Guilty In Manhattan Federal Court To Participating In Business Email Compromise Scams (DOJ Press Release)
Onyekachi Emmanuel Opara pled guilty in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud in connection with his participation in fraudulent business email compromise scams between 2014 and 2016that targeted thousands of victims around the world, including the United States. Prosecutors alleged that fraudulent emails were sent to employees of various companies, purportedly from their supervisors or from third party vendors, directing that funds be transferred to specified bank accounts. 

Owner Of U.S. Energy Partners, Inc. Of Bowling Green, Kentucky, Sentenced To Prison For Wire Fraud, Securities Fraud, And Money Laundering / Fraudulent Investment scam resulted in loss exceeding $1,000,000 for eleven partners (DOJ Press Release)
After two hours of deliberation, a federal jury convicted Clay Shelton. the owner of U.S. Energy Partners, Inc. of  wire fraud, securities fraud, and money laundering as part of a scheme that defrauded 11 investors of $1,175,000. Federal prosecutors alleged that from March 2011 through September 2012, Shelton fraudulently represented to the investors that their funds would be held in escrow as a down payment until he was able to complete financing to purchase the Monterey Pipeline, after which investors would receive either a 25% return on their investment or Monterey Pipeline Partners LLC would buy their interest in any Tennessee well program they previously purchased through U.S. Energy Partners. Shelton diverted the funds from escrow for investment in collateralized mortgage obligations or for business expenses. He was sentenced to 50 months in federal prison.