[S]akelarakis held himself out as having the necessary qualifications, experience and abilities to provide investment services to an elderly victim-investor. Sakelarakis falsely represented to the victim that he had a number of investment clients, that he was making a substantial profit including by day trading, and that he had a contact in an investment firm who provided him with stock tips. Sakelarakis also represented that he would invest in stocks, options and other financial instruments on behalf of the victim and that his compensation would be a commission on 10 percent of the profits.In October 2017, the victim provided Sakelarakis with a $60,000 check. The funds were more than half of what the victim had saved for retirement. Within days after receiving and depositing the check, Sakelarakis withdrew $30,000 in cash, and then made additional cash withdrawals, including several large withdrawals at ATMs. Sakelarakis spent a portion of the funds at stores such as Armani Exchange, Foot Locker, Macy's and Gamestop. In October and November 2017, Sakelarakis made several false representations in e-mails to the victim-investor relating to the status of the "investments" and the victim's account. No funds were ever returned to the victim.
worked together between 2016 and 2018 to fraudulently sell the stock of several microcap companies to investors, including elderly retail investors, using high pressure stock promotional campaigns. The SEC alleges that, as part of the scheme, O'Rourke aggressively touted the companies to prospective investors through unsolicited cold calls during which he repeatedly lied about his association with legitimate financial institutions and the prospects of the microcap companies. According to the complaint, O'Rourke also told prospective investors that he had their best interests in mind and that he had found promising investment opportunities for them. In actuality, however, O'Rourke was calling them to convince them to buy the stocks so that he and Black could sell their holdings in the same stocks for a profit. O'Rourke and Black also allegedly schemed to disguise their control over at least one of the microcap companies, EnviroTechnologies International, Inc., in order to facilitate their illegal sales of the company's stock in the public securities market, generating millions of dollars in proceeds.
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that its Retail Strategy Task Force will host a roundtable on October 3 on combating elder investor fraud. The roundtable will focus on the types of fraudulent and manipulative schemes currently targeting elder investors. The roundtable also will explore views from a broad range of regulators and industry experts on potential steps regulators, broker-dealers, investment advisers, and others can take to identify and combat elder investor fraud.The roundtable will be held at the SEC's headquarters at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. and will begin at 9:30 a.m. ET. The roundtable will be open to the public and webcast live on the SEC's website. Information on the agenda and participants will be issued shortly.Members of the public who wish to provide their views on the topic may submit comments electronically or on paper. Please submit comments using one method only. Information that is submitted will become part of the public record of the roundtable and posted on the SEC's website. All comments received will be posted without change. Persons submitting comments are cautioned that we do not redact or edit personal identifying information from comment submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make publicly available.Electronic Comments:Paper Comments:Send paper comments to Vanessa Countryman, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549-1090.All submissions should refer to File Number 4-749 and the file number should be included on the subject line if email is used.
Seems all those good folks in Washington, D.C., have a penchant for panels with lots of speakers. Not that any of this jawing ever fixed a single important problem, but it is a wonderful photo opportunity and you do get to bring a lot of folks together for a nice chicken lunch and a chance to catch up on all sorts of gossip. On the other hand, where Congress simply wastes times with overblown hearings, the SEC has taken this nonsense to amazing new heights. No more mere hearings -- we now have Roundtables. Not only does it sound more impressive but it conjures up the romantic vision of Camelot and King Arthur.However, as memory serves me, Sir Lancelot, the greatest knight in the world, committed adultery with Queen Guinevere. That caused a nasty war between King Arthur and Lancelot, forced the other knights to pick sides, and that all pretty much destroyed the Roundtable. Camelot was never the same, except for a nice run on Broadway and a popular movie.Just goes to show you that it isn't exactly a great idea to put a bunch of armored, sword-bearing, competitive guys facing each other around a Roundtable. Maybe that's why you don't see too many corporate boardrooms with Roundtables. There's a reason for all those rectangular tables. Someone needs to sit at the head of the table. Someone needs to be in charge.Once upon a time, kings made decisions at the risk of losing their heads and kingdoms. In olden days, rulers didn't take polls, they didn't waste time with self-serving panels--those in power wielded power. My, what a novel concept! You're hired to do a job and you do your own homework, make your own decisions, and put your reputation on the line. You take personal responsibility for your actions.We have become a nation that ponders everything without resolution. No one is in charge of anything. Our lives are run by committee -- or Roundtable. It is a nightmare of debates and discussions that go on endlessly.