The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Hughe Duwayne Graham, Donald Lee Howard, and Larry Louis Matyas, with acting as unregistered brokers in the sale of the securities of microcap issuer US Lighting Group, Inc.According to the SEC's complaint, from at least October 2017 through at least May 2019, Graham, Howard and Matyas solicited investments in US Lighting Group by cold calling and emailing prospective investors, sending the investors subscription agreements, and instructing investors as to how to make their investment. The complaint alleges that they received commission payments of approximately 40% of investor proceeds from sales of US Lighting Group securities. According to the complaint, none of the defendants were registered as a broker-deal or associated with a registered broker-dealer at the time.The SEC's complaint, filed in the federal district court for the Northern District of Ohio, charges Graham, Howard and Matyas with violating the broker-dealer registration provisions of Section 15(a)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Matyas has consented, on a neither-admit-nor-deny basis, to the entry of a judgment that imposes permanent injunctions, conduct-based injunctions from soliciting purchases or sales of securities, and a civil penalty of $367,916. The settlement is subject to court approval. . . .
11. Hughe Duwayne Graham (Sr.) (a/k/a John Morgan), age 62, resides in Riverside, California, and sometimes operates through HDG Global Marketing, LLC, an entity he is believed to own and control. Graham solicited investors to purchase securities issued by USLG. When called to appear for investigative testimony, Graham invoked his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination in response to several questions posed to him.12. Donald Lee Howard, age 65, is last known to reside in Las Vegas, Nevada. Howard solicited investors to purchase securities issued by USLG. In connection with its underlying investigation, the Commission issued subpoenas to Howard for documents and testimony, but process servers were unable to locate and serve him.13. Larry Louis Matyas (II) (a/k/a Gary Bennett), age 38, resides in Las Vegas, Nevada, and sometimes operates through Secured Consulting, a doing-business-as entity established in connection with the name of his fiancée. Matyas solicited investors to purchase securities issued by USLG. When called to appear for investigative testimony, Matyas invoked his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination in response to nearly all questions posed to him.
24. During or about late 2017, Howard was recruited and thereafter worked as an investor solicitor for USLG.25. As a solicitor, Howard called prospective investors, pitched them on an investment in USLG securities, provided investors with subscription agreements, and instructed investors as to how to purchase USLG securities.26. One investor who Howard solicited, J.I., is a resident of Florida and was first contacted by Howard during or about November 2017.27. Howard told J.I. that USLG manufactured LED lighting and had a contract with Home Depot. Howard also told J.I. that he could purchase USLG shares at a discount price of half the then-prevailing market price.28. Based on Howard's representations, J.I. purchased 40,000 shares of USLG at $0.25 per share and wired $10,000 to USLG on or about November 10, 2017.
1. Respondent, age 76, is last known to reside in North Las Vegas, Nevada. From at least October 2017 to May 2019, Respondent was engaged in the business of effecting transactions in, or inducing or attempting to induce the purchase and sale of, securities and received transaction based compensation. During the period relevant to this action, Respondent was neither registered with the Commission as either a broker or a dealer nor was he associated with a broker or dealer registered with the Commission.2. On November 12, 2021, a final judgment was entered against Respondent, permanently enjoining him from future violations of Section 15(a)(1) of the Exchange Act in the civil action entitled Securities and Exchange Commission v. Hughe Duwayne Graham, et al., Civil Action Number 1:20-CV-02505, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.3. The Commission's complaint alleged that, from at least October 2017 to May 2019, Respondent, using the mails or other means or instrumentalities of interstate commerce, effected transactions in, or induced or attempted to induce the purchase and sale of, securities and received commissions while he was not registered with the Commission as a broker or dealer nor while he was associated with an entity registered with the Commission as a broker or dealer.
[O]n April 8, 2022, the Division learned that Howard may not be the real identity of the person who allegedly committed the conduct underlying the OIP. The Division has requested that the Commission stay the proceeding so that the Division can conduct additional research and seek to amend the OIP or take other action as appropriate.. . .