SEC Charges Ernesto Lujan in Connection with Kickback Scheme

SEC v. Bethancourt et al., Case No. 13-cv-3074 (S.D.N.Y.).  On June 12, 2013, the SEC announced it filed an amended complaint adding Ernesto Lujan, former head of the Miami office of brokerage firm Direct Access Partners (“DAP”).  Last month, the SEC sued four people in connection with creating $66 million in revenue for fraudulent trades executed for Banco de Desarrollo Económico y Social de Venezuela (“BANDES”).  According to the SEC, Lujan played a significant part in the fraud, which included fake arrangements to hide kickback payments and routing money to a BANDES official through shell corporations.  Lujan’s alleged misconduct also involved tricking DAP’s clearing brokers, executing wash trades, and roundtrip trades to pad revenue.  The SEC seeks disgorgement, injunctive relief and civil monetary penalties.  The SEC also announced that Lujan was charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York in a parallel criminal action.

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