The Securities and Exchange Commission recently brought fraud charges against an attorney, Marc A. Celello, based on his alleged participation in a $30 million Ponzi scheme.
The SEC’s complaint claims that Celello, who was a partner in Credit National Capital LLC and also acted as general counsel for its underlying companies, facilitated the orchestration of a Ponzi scheme involving the offer and sale of promissory notes yielding a 9% return.
According to the SEC Complaint, Celello prepared offering materials and directed sales agents to misrepresent to investors that the promissory notes were safe investments “backed by hard assets dollar for dollar.” The SEC further claimed that Celello knew that Credit Nation Capital was insolvent, but that he instructed an employee to fabricate a balance sheet to reflect that it was profitable. Celello is also alleged to have assisted in the transfer of investor funds to another Credit National Capital partner for his ultimate, improper personal use.
The SEC complaint charges Celello with violating the anti-fraud provisions of the federal securities laws, or aiding and abetting others’ violations of these provisions. The SEC is seeking a permanent injunction, an accounting, a civil penalty and disgorgement along with prejudgment interest.
Whereas in the past the SEC tended to be hesitant to sue lawyers, times have radically changed. Now, the SEC seems to be purposefully targeting legal counsel involved in suspect securities deals, particularly those attorneys in alleged stock manipulations (pump and dumps) who author Rule 144 opinion letters on the unrestricted nature of company shares.
David Chase is a SEC defense attorney and former SEC Prosecutor who represents and defends those around the world who are being investigated or prosecuted for engaging in Ponzi schemes in SEC investigations or criminal cases. Mr. Chase is the principal of the Law Firm of David R. Chase, a SEC law firm, located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. For a confidential consultation, you may contact Mr. Chase at: firstname.lastname@example.org or toll-free at: (800) 760-0912. The law firm’s website is: securitiesfrauddefense.net.