The Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) recently sanctioned an investment advisory firm for impeding examinations conducted by SEC staff.
The SEC investigation allegedly found that Evens Barthelemy and his New York-based firm Barthelemy Group LLC misled SEC examiners by inflating the firm’s claimed assets under management (AUM) ten-fold in an apparent attempt to show that the firm was eligible for SEC registration.
According to the SEC’s order against Barthelemy and his firm, when examiners asked for a list of client assets, Barthelemy misrepresented his firm’s AUM as $26.28 million instead of the actual $2.628 million. He downloaded client account balances from the firm’s online custodial platform onto a spreadsheet, and then manually moved the decimal points for each client one place to the right before providing it to the SEC staff. From July 2009 to early 2011, Barthelemy purportedly improperly registered Barthelemy Group with the SEC on the basis of the aspirational AUM that was 10 times higher than reality. Barthelemy Group, through Barthelemy’s actions as chief compliance officer, also failed to adopt reasonable compliance policies and procedures or to maintain required books and records concerning codes of ethics and providing the firm’s disclosure brochure to clients.
Barthelemy agreed to be barred from the securities industry and from associating with an investment company, with the right to reapply after two years. Without admitting or denying the allegations, Barthelemy and his firm consented to cease-and-desist orders, and the firm was censured. Barthelemy and his firm also will provide a copy of the proceeding to their clients and appropriate state securities regulators, will post a copy on the firm’s website, and will disclose the proceeding in an amended SEC Form ADV filing.
The foregoing information, which is publicly available on the SEC’s website, is being provided by The White Law Group. The White Law Group is a national securities fraud, securities arbitration, and investor protection law firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Boca Raton, Florida.
For more information on The White Law Group, visit http://www.whitesecuritieslaw.com.