The SEC took action Monday against 10 former brokers who worked for McGinn Smith, an Albany, N.Y.-based firm charged criminally for a $125 million investment scheme for which its two co-owners received jail sentences.
The SEC halted the scheme at McGinn Smith in 2010 and froze its assets as well as those of owners Timothy M. McGinn and David L. Smith, who were found guilty of criminal charges. The scheme affected some 750 investors who lost $80 million.
The regulatory group’s enforcement division says the 10 brokers recommended the unregistered investment products, made “material misrepresentations and omissions to their customers” and “ignored red flags that should have led them to conduct more due diligence into the securities they were recommending.”
“As securities professionals, these brokers had an important duty to determine whether the securities they recommended to customers were suitable, especially when red flags were apparent. These registered representatives performed inadequate due diligence and failed to fulfill their duties,” said Andrew M. Calamari, director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office, in a press release.
The SEC said the brokers involved were:
- Donald J. Anthonyt Jr. of Loudonville, N.Y.
- Frank H. Chiappone of Clifton Park, NY.
- Richard D. Feldmann of Delmar, N.Y.
- William P. Gamello of Rexford, N.Y.
- Andrew G. Guzzetti of Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
- William F. Lex of Phoenixville, Pa.
- Thomas E. Livingston of Slingerlands, N.Y.
- Brian T. Mayer of Princeton, N.J.
- Philip S. Rabinovich of Roslyn, N.Y.
- Ryan C. Rogers of East Northport, N.Y.
Guzzetti was the managing director of McGinn Smith’s private client group from 2004 to 2009. The SEC says he failed to take any steps “to investigate the offerings and instead encouraged the brokers to sell the notes.”