The SEC charged Edward Durante, a recidivist securities law violator, with operating a multi-year offering fraud that targeted investors in New England, Ohio, and California. The SEC’s complaint alleges that between 2012 and 2014, Durante defrauded at least 50 relatively unsophisticated investors of at least $11 million through the sale of securities of VGTel, Inc., a shell company he controlled.

According to the SEC’s complaint filed in federal district court in Manhattan, Durante defrauded investors by selling approximately six million shares of VGTel stock to investors using a fictitious name to hide his criminal past and lying to investors regarding the use of stock sale proceeds. Durante also bribed investment advisers, who advised their clients to purchase VGTel stock without disclosing to their clients that they had been bribed. Durante also engaged in matched trading of VGTel stock with a stockbroker to artificially control the stock’s market price.

The SEC’s complaint charges Durante with violating Sections 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Sections 9(a)(1) and 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.

The SEC seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement, civil money penalties, and other relief.

If you or someone you know has lost money as a result of an investment or Ponzi scheme, please contact Richard Frankowski at 888-741-7503 to discuss your potential legal remedies or complete the contact form.