UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
| ORDER MAKING FINDINGS AND IMPOSING REMEDIAL SANCTIONS BY DEFAULT AGAINST SONIA HOWE RADENCOVICI|
The Securities and Exchange Commission (Commission) initiated this proceeding on April 14, 2003, with an Order Instituting Proceedings (OIP). On May 23, 2003, the Commission accepted an Offer of Settlement from Respondent Robert J. Guyer (Guyer). On June 30, 2003, I found Respondent Liberty National Securities, Inc. (Liberty), in default and revoked Respondent Liberty's registration as a broker and dealer pursuant to Section 15(b)(4) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act).
In a separate Order issued on June 30, 2003, I ordered Respondent Sonia Howe Radencovici (Radencovici) to show cause on or by July 11, 2003, why she should not be held in default and why she should not be barred from association with a broker or dealer. On May 23, 2003, Respondent Radencovici was personally served with the OIP, and on April 17, 2003, counsel for Respondent Radencovici was served via certified mail with a copy of the OIP. As of July 17, 2003, Respondent Radencovici has failed to file an answer to the OIP and has failed to respond to my Order to show cause why she should not be held in default.
Pursuant to Rules 155(a)(2), 220(b), and 221(f) of the Commission's Rules of Practice, 17 C.F.R. §§ 201.155(a)(2), .220(b), .221(f), Respondent Radencovici is in default for failing to file an answer to the OIP within twenty days after service of the OIP. I find the following allegations in the OIP to be true only as to Respondent Radencovici:
Beginning in approximately April 1991, and at all relevant times, Respondent Liberty was a registered broker and dealer located in Dundee, Michigan. Respondent Guyer, age 64, resides in Dundee, Michigan, and served as President of Respondent Liberty from April 1993 until April 1999. Respondent Guyer was a registered representative holding Series 7, 24, 27, and 63 licenses.
Respondent Radencovici, age 43, resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. Respondent Radencovici holds Series 4, 7, 8, and 63 licenses and was formerly registered with several broker-dealers, including Thomas F. White & Co. from 1989 to 1993 and Quest Capital Strategies, Inc., from March 1999 to June 1999.
On March 12, 2002, the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut entered judgments that permanently enjoined: (a) Respondents Liberty and Guyer from violating Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 (Securities Act), Sections 10(b), 15(b), and 17(a)(1) of the Exchange Act, and Rules 10b-5, 15b3-1 and 17a-3(a)(12) thereunder; and (b) Respondent Radencovici from violating Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. See SEC v. Frankel, 3:00-CV-1778 (EBB) (D. Conn. Mar. 12, 2002) (Civil Action).
From at least November 1991 through May 1999, Martin Frankel (Frankel) knowingly orchestrated a scheme to defraud Franklin America Corporation (FAC), International Finance Corporation (IFC), and their insurance company subsidiaries of more than $215 million. As part of this scheme, Frankel falsely represented to FAC, IFC, and their insurance company subsidiaries that he was investing their funds in safe government securities through accounts at Respondent Liberty and provided them with Liberty confirmations and account statements that falsely reflected the purchase and sale of government securities. Frankel did not invest FAC's, IFC's, and their insurance company subsidiaries' funds in government securities, but instead used their funds to support his lavish lifestyle.
Respondents Liberty and Guyer provided substantial assistance to Frankel in furtherance of his fraudulent conduct. In 1992, the Commission barred Frankel from the securities industry, including being associated with a broker or dealer. Despite this bar, Frankel secretly controlled Respondent Liberty. Frankel installed Respondent Guyer as Respondent Liberty's president to hide Frankel's control over the broker-dealer. Among other things, Respondent Guyer prepared and filed false broker-dealer registration statements and amendments, and other forms with the Commission that failed to disclose Frankel's ownership and control of Respondent Liberty, and failed to disclose that the Commission had barred Frankel from the securities industry. Respondents Guyer and Liberty, through Respondent Guyer, knew, or were reckless in not knowing, that Frankel was engaging in fraudulent conduct and that Respondent Guyer's conduct was improper.
Respondent Radencovici participated in Frankel's scheme to defraud FAC, IFC, and their insurance company subsidiaries. Respondent Radencovici knowingly or recklessly prepared: (a) Liberty account statements that falsely represented to FAC, IFC, and their insurance company subsidiaries that their funds were invested in government securities; and (b) Liberty confirmations that falsely reflected the purchase and sale of government securities. Respondent Radencovici knew that Frankel was not investing FAC'S, IFC's, and their insurance companies' funds through Liberty. Through this conduct, Respondent Radencovici violated Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.
On October 25, 2000, Respondent Radencovici pled guilty to one count of money laundering in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1962(c) and one count of racketeering in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(2) in United States v. Sonia Howe, 3:99CR235 (EBB) in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut; she is currently awaiting sentencing. The counts to which Respondent Radencovici pled guilty alleged, inter alia, that Respondent Radencovici arranged for the creation of false monthly statements and trade confirmations to be sent from Respondent Liberty to FAC, IFC, and their insurance company subsidiaries.
On the basis of the foregoing, it is appropriate and in the public interest to impose the sanction requested by the Division against Respondent Radencovici.
IT IS ORDERED, pursuant to Section 15(b)(6) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that Sonia Howe Radencovici is hereby BARRED from association with any broker or dealer.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Lillian A. McEwen
Administrative Law Judge
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