The Securities and Exchange Commission charged this week “a known securities fraudster” with engaging in a new stock scheme after he was released from prison. According to the SEC, Edward Durante, after serving a 10-year prison term for securities fraud, commenced a new securities con by soliciting investments in a shell company he secretly controlled under the false pretense that the stock sales proceeds would fund the company’s operations. In truth, the proceeds were used for other purposes, including Durante’s personal benefit, according to the SEC’s Complaint. The SEC further alleges that Durante used fake names to hide his criminal history when he solicited investors.
The SEC’s Complaint contends that Durante began laying the foundation for his next stock fraud while still in prison, and that from 2012 to 2014 he defrauded at least 50 relatively inexperienced investors through at least $11 million in VGTel stock sales. Durante is also alleged to have bribed investment advisers to recommend VGTel stock to their clients, and to have engaged in manipulative matched trading of the stock to artificially control its market price.
Andrew M. Calamari, Director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office, commented: “As alleged in our complaint, Durante shamelessly peddled worthless stock under phony names to steal millions of dollars from unsuspecting investors.”
And, by the way, in a parallel action, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York brought criminal charges against Durante on the same day as the filing of the SEC’s Complaint.
Perhaps Mr. Durante may have plenty of time on his hands in the future to contemplate his next securities offering.
David Chase, a securities attorney, is principal of the law firm of David R. Chase, PA, a SEC defense law firm located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Mr. Chase represents those under SEC investigation and handles white collar securities fraud cases. For a confidential, no-cost consultation with Mr. Chase, call toll-free at: 800-760-0912, or send him an e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The firm’s website is: www.securitiesfrauddefense.net.