UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Release No. 45455 / February 15, 2002
File No. 3-10702
PUBLIC ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS INSTITUTED AGAINST
JOHN ADAMS, JR., RONALD BONGO, SAMUEL DEL PRESTO, SEAN HART, CURTIS MARCHAND, III, MICHAEL MCDERMOTT, PALMER MYERS, DAVID NELSON, DANIEL PETRONELLI, GARY SMOLOKOFF, MALIK TAWIL, LAWRENCE WEIL, and NEIL WHITE
On February 15, 2002, the Commission issued an Order Instituting Public Administrative Proceedings Pursuant to Section 15(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Order) against thirteen respondents: John Adams, Jr. Ronald Bongo, Samuel Del Presto, Sean Hart, Curtis Marchand, III, Michael McDermott, Palmer Myers, David Nelson, Daniel Petronelli, Gary Smolokoff, Malik Tawil, Lawrence Weil, and Neil White. In the Order the Division of Enforcement alleges that each Respondent has pled guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, a felony, and that judgments of conviction have been entered against them. United States v. McDermott, et al., criminal case number 97-647 (D. N.J. 1997). United States v. Weil, et al., criminal case number 98-414 (D.N.J. 1998). United States v. Bongo, criminal case number 98-642 (D. N.J. 1998).
In the criminal cases, the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey alleged in the indictments and information that the Respondents, while employed as stockbrokers and in various supervisory positions at L.C. Wegard & Co., Inc., a broker dealer whose registration was subsequently revoked, participated in a conspiracy to commit securities fraud by inducing unsuspecting investors to purchase speculative high risk securities through the use of fraudulent and deceptive sales practices, and, the concealment of such practices from regulatory authorities. The Respondents worked in various offices of L.C. Wegard located in New York, N.Y.; Tarrytown, N.Y.; Princeton, N.J.; Providence, R.I.; Bensalem, P.A.; Monroeville, P.A.; and Mt. Prospect, IL.
A hearing will be scheduled before an administrative law judge to determine whether the allegations contained in the Order are true, to provide the Respondents an opportunity to dispute these allegations, and to determine what sanctions, if any, are appropriate and in the public interest.