The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently announced that it has ordered Brookville Capital Partners LLC, based in Uniondale, NY, to pay full restitution of more than $1 million to victims and fined the firm $500,000 for fraud in connection with sales of a private placement offering.
FINRA found in its settlement and alleged in a May 2014 complaint that Brookville defrauded Brookville customers in connection with the sale of a private placement offering called Wilshire Capital Partners Group LLC, through which investors would purportedly have an indirect interest in pre-initial public offering shares of Fisker Automotive. The conduct allegedly took place from January 2011 to October 2011.
During the time Brookville solicited customers to invest in the offering, the firm’s CEO allegedly learned that John Mattera, an individual with a significant criminal and regulatory background, had effected transactions on behalf of Wilshire as Wilshire’s CEO and Managing Director. Instead of disclosing that, among other things, Mattera had been sanctioned by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2010 for securities fraud and convicted of a felony in Florida in 2003, Brookville (according to FINRA) purposely withheld this information and information about Mattera’s involvement with Wilshire, and continued to solicit its customers to invest. In total, Brookville sold over $1 million worth of interests in Wilshire to 29 customers. Brookville received more than $104,000 in commissions for the sales.
In November 2011, the SEC sued Mattera and others in connection with a scheme that included Wilshire, through which they defrauded investors of $13 million. These individuals were also criminally prosecuted and convicted, and Mattera has been sentenced to prison. The SEC obtained a court order freezing all of Wilshire’s assets, including the interests owned by Brookville’s customers. The Brookville customers who invested in Wilshire lost their entire investment.
In settling this matter, Brookville and Lodati neither admitted nor denied the charges, but consented to the entry of FINRA’s findings.
The foregoing information, which is publicly available, 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 Vero Beach, Florida.
For a free consultation with a securities attorney, please call the firm’s Chicago office at 312/238-9650. For more information on the firm and its securities arbitration practice, visit http://www.whitesecuritieslaw.com.