U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 23392 / October 26, 2015
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Joseph Catapano and Michael Piervinanzi, Civil Action No. 11 Civ. 1476 (KM) (E.D.N.Y.)
SEC Obtains Final Judgments Granting Disgorgement and Civil Penalties Against Stock Promoters
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that on October 23, 2015, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York entered a final judgment against Joseph Catapano and Michael Piervinanzi for violating the anti-fraud provisions of the federal securities laws by engaging in a fraudulent broker bribery scheme designed to manipulate the market for the common stock of Euro Solar Parks, Inc.
The SEC’s complaint alleges that Catapano and Piervinanzi engaged in an undisclosed kickback arrangement with an individual who claimed to represent a group of registered representatives with trading discretion over the accounts of wealthy customers. Catapano and Piervinanzi promised to pay a 30% kickback in exchange for the purchase of up to $3 million of Euro Solar stock through the customers’ accounts.
In 2011, United States District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto entered judgments against Catapano and Piervinanzi finding that they violated Sections 9(a)(1) and 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder and Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, enjoining them from committing further violations, and holding them liable for disgorgement to be determined upon the motion of the Commission. On October 23, 2105, Judge Matsumoto entered a final judgment finding Catapano and Piervinanzi jointly and severally liable for $31,000 in disgorgement and $310 in prejudgment interest, and ordering Catapano and Piervinanzi to pay civil penalties of $44,000 and $10,425, respectively.
The Commission acknowledges assistance provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in this matter.
For additional information, see Litigation Release Number 21902.