UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
In the Matter of
JOHN ADAMS, JR., et al.
|ORDER MAKING FINDINGS AND IMPOSING SANCTIONS BY DEFAULT AGAINST RONALD BONGO AND SAMUEL DEL PRESTO|
This Order bars Ronald Bongo and Samuel Del Presto from association with a broker-dealer, based on their felony convictions. Each was convicted of conspiracy to commit securities fraud during his employment with a broker-dealer that used fraudulent sales practices to sell speculative securities to unsuspecting investors.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (Commission) issued its Order Instituting Proceedings (OIP) in this matter on February 15, 2002, pursuant to Section 15(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act). The OIP alleges that Bongo and Del Presto were associated with a broker-dealer during the 1990s, and were convicted of conspiracy to commit securities fraud in 2000. The Division of Enforcement (Division) has filed a Motion for Default, pursuant to 17 C.F.R. § 201.155(a)(2), asking that Bongo and Del Presto be barred from association with any broker or dealer. By letters dated June 7 and June 6, 2002, respectively, Bongo and Del Presto each affirmatively stated that he would not defend the proceeding and would accept a default ordering the relief that the Division seeks.
Bongo and Del Presto are each in default within the meaning of 17 C.F.R. § 201.155(a)(2) in that each affirmatively declined to defend the proceeding. Accordingly, the undersigned finds that the allegations in the OIP as to him are true. The findings of fact and conclusions of law made in this order as to Bongo and Del Presto are not binding on any other person in this proceeding.
II. FINDINGS OF FACT
Bongo was employed as a registered representative, an assistant branch manager, and a regional vice president from March 1992 to September 1995 at a registered broker-dealer, L.C. Wegard & Co., Inc. (Wegard). Del Presto was employed as a registered representative, a manager, an assistant branch manager, a co-branch manager, and a regional vice president from May 1992 to October 1995 at Wegard. Wegard operated as a boiler room, and Bongo, Del Presto, and others 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. Bongo and Del Presto were convicted of conspiracy to commit securities fraud on July 25, 2000, and July 11, 2000, respectively. United States v. Ronald Bongo, No. 98-642-01 (D. N.J. July 11, 2000); United States v. Samuel Del Presto, No. 97-647-03 (D. N.J. July 11, 2000).
III. CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
Bongo and Del Presto have each been convicted, within ten years of the commencement of this proceeding, of "conspiracy to commit" a felony that "involves the purchase or sale of any security" and also "arises out of the conduct of the business of a broker [or] dealer" within the meaning of Sections 15(b)(4)(B) and 15(b)(6)(A)(ii) of the Exchange Act. Their unlawful conduct was recurring and egregious. There are no mitigating circumstances.
The Division requests that Bongo and Del Presto be barred from association with any broker or dealer. This sanction will serve the public interest and the protection of investors, pursuant to Sections 15(b) and 19(h) of the Exchange Act. It accords with Commission precedent and the sanction considerations set forth in Steadman v. SEC, 603 F.2d 1126, 1140 (5th Cir. 1979).
IT IS ORDERED that RONALD BONGO IS BARRED from association with any broker or dealer.
IT IS ORDERED that SAMUEL DEL PRESTO IS BARRED from association with any broker or dealer.
Carol Fox Foelak
Administrative Law Judge
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