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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Before the
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Release No. 49144 / January 29, 2004

Admin. Proc. File No. 3-11386


In the Matter of

MICHAEL J. LOUIS,

Respondent.


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ORDER INSTITUTING ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS PURSUANT TO SECTION 15(b) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934, MAKING FINDINGS, AND IMPOSING REMEDIAL SANCTIONS

I.

The Securities and Exchange Commission ("Commission") deems it appropriate and in the public interest that public administrative proceedings be, and hereby are, instituted pursuant to Section 15(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") against Michael J. Louis ("Respondent" or "Louis").

II.

In anticipation of the institution of these proceedings, Respondent has submitted an Offer of Settlement (the "Offer") which the Commission has determined to accept. Solely for the purpose of these proceedings and any other proceedings brought by or on behalf of the Commission, or to which the Commission is a party, and without admitting or denying the findings herein, except as to the Commission's jurisdiction over him and the subject matter of these proceedings, and the findings contained in Section III.2 below, which are admitted, Respondent consents to the entry of this Order Instituting Administrative Proceedings Pursuant to Section 15(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Making Findings, and Imposing Remedial Sanctions ("Order"), as set forth below.

III.

On the basis of this Order and Respondent's Offer, the Commission finds that:

1. Michael J. Louis was a registered representative associated with American Investment Services, Inc. ("American Investment") from September 1999 until December 2001. Louis holds Series 7 and 63 licenses. He is presently employed as a broker by SG Martin Securities, LLC. Louis is 41 years old and resides in East Setauket, New York.

2. On July 11, 2003, a final judgment was entered by default against Louis, permanently enjoining him from future violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 ("Securities Act") and Sections 10(b), 15(a) and 15(c) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, in the civil action entitled Securities and Exchange Commission v. Von Christopher Cummings, et al., Civil Action Number C2 02 629, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. Louis was also ordered to pay disgorgement of $159,500, plus prejudgment interest thereon, and a $120,000 civil penalty.

3. The Commission's complaint alleged that Paramount Financial Partners, Inc. ("Paramount"), through Von C. Cummings ("Cummings") and others, falsely represented to investors that it was a hedge fund that generated large returns for clients through the mid-to-late 1990's. In fact, Paramount was not a hedge fund, and neither Paramount nor Cummings bought and sold securities for clients' accounts. Investors paid at least $14.2 million total directly to Paramount, from at least May 2000 through approximately the Spring of 2001. Beginning in May 2000, at Cummings' direction, those funds were primarily deposited in several bank and brokerage accounts in Paramount's name. At Cummings' direction, the vast majority of those funds were used to repay previous Paramount investors. Additionally, at least $2 million was paid to Cummings or used to pay his personal and business expenses. In the Fall of 2000, Louis solicited and/or referred clients to participate in Paramount investments. After conducting very little, if any, due diligence, Louis misrepresented to clients and investors that Cummings managed a hedge fund with assets of between $12 and $15 million, that he had participated in deals with Cummings in the past, and that Cummings' operations were legitimate. Louis did not disclose to his registered broker-dealer employer that he had solicited investors for Paramount in exchange for fees and commissions. Finally, the Complaint alleged that Cummings paid Louis approximately $159,500 for soliciting and inducing clients and others to invest in the Paramount scheme.

IV.

In view of the foregoing, the Commission deems it appropriate and in the public interest to impose the sanctions specified in Respondent Louis' Offer.

Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED:

Pursuant to Section 15(b)(6) of the Exchange Act, that Respondent Louis be, and hereby is, barred from association with any broker or dealer;

Any reapplication for association by the Respondent will be subject to the applicable laws and regulations governing the reentry process, and reentry may be conditioned upon a number of factors, including, but not limited to, the satisfaction of any or all of the following: (a) any disgorgement ordered against the Respondent, whether or not the Commission has fully or partially waived payment of such disgorgement; (b) any arbitration award related to the conduct that served as the basis for the Commission order; (c) any self-regulatory organization arbitration award to a customer, whether or not related to the conduct that served as the basis for the Commission order; and (d) any restitution order by a self-regulatory organization, whether or not related to the conduct that served as the basis for the Commission order.

For the Commission, by its Secretary, pursuant to delegated authority.

Jonathan G. Katz
Secretary


http://www.sec.gov/litigation/admin/34-49144.htm


Modified: 01/29/2004