UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
In the Matter of
STEVEN BOCCHINO AND SHARON HAROSH,
ORDER INSTITUTING ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDINGS PURSUANT TO SECTION 15(b) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
The Securities and Exchange Commission ("Commission") deems t 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 Steven Bocchino ("Bocchino") and Sharon Harosh ("Harosh") ("Respondents").
After an investigation, the Division of Enforcement alleges that:
1. Bocchino, age 33, currently resides in East Stroudsberg, Pennsylvania. During the relevant period, Bocchino was a registered representative of Raike Financial Group, Inc., a registered broker-dealer. From approximately May 1997 through July 1998, Bocchino participated in offerings of Goldman Lender Co. Holdings and Traderz Associates Holding Co. stock, which were "penny stocks" as that term is used in Section 15(b)(6) of the Exchange Act and defined by Section 39(a)(51) of the Exchange Act and Rule 3a51-1 thereunder.
2. Harosh, age 30, currently resides in Israel. During the relevant period, Harosh was president of Goldman Lender Co. Holdings and the sole proprietor of Blackwell Co. which both operated as unregistered broker-dealers. From approximately May 1997 through July 1998, Harosh participated in offerings of Goldman Lender and Blackwell Co. stock, which were "penny stocks" as that term is used in Section 15(b)(6) of the Exchange Act and defined by Section 39(a)(51) of the Exchange Act and Rule 3a51-1 thereunder.
1. Goldman Lender Co. Holdings ("Goldman Lender") was incorporated in Delaware in May of 1998. During the relevant period, Goldman Lender maintained an office at 31 Bay Ridge Avenue in Brooklyn, New York. Goldman Lender has never been registered with the Commission as a broker-dealer.
2. Traderz Associates Holding Inc. ("Traderz") was incorporated in Delaware in March of 1997. During the relevant period, Traderz operated out of an office at 80 Broad Street in New York, New York. Traderz has never been registered with the Commission as a broker-dealer.
3. Blackwell Co. ("Blackwell") was a sole proprietorship established by Harosh in 1998. During the relevant period, Blackwell operated out of an office at 110 Wall Street in New York, New York. Blackwell has never been registered with the Commission as a broker-dealer.
1. On December 8, 2002, Bocchino was permanently enjoined from future violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 ("Securities Act"), and Sections 10(b) and 15(a) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, in Securities and Exchange Commission v. Goldman Lender, et al., 98 Civ. 7525 (S.D.N.Y.) (JGK), in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
2. On July 15, 2002, Harosh was permanently enjoined from future violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act, and Sections 10(b) and 15(a) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, in Securities and Exchange Commission v. Goldman Lender, et al., 98 Civ. 7525 (S.D.N.Y.) (JGK), in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
3. The Commission's complaint alleged that Bocchino, Harosh, and other defendants fraudulently raised approximately $2.1 million through six fraudulent offerings of securities. In various combinations, the defendants allegedly created phony private placements of stock of six issuers, including Goldman Lender, Traderz, and Blackwell - and sold the stock through a series of boiler rooms. Directly or through unregistered salespeople acting at their direction, the defendants used high-pressure sales tactics and false and misleading representations to fraudulently induce investors to buy the stock. In each of the offerings, the primary selling point was the promise of an imminent initial public offering that would allow investors to quickly reap significant profits on their investment in the purported private placements.
4. In May 2002, on the basis of his guilty plea in a related criminal case, judgment was entered against Harosh for one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, mail fraud and wire fraud, one count of securities fraud, two counts of wire fraud, five counts of money laundering, one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud in violation of 15 U.S.C. §§ 77q(b) and 77x, and 18 U.S.C. §§ 2, 371, 1343, 1342, 1956(h), and 1956(a)(2)(B) by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, in United States v. Sharon Harosh, 01 CR. 244 (S.D.N.Y.) (LAP).
5. The counts of the criminal information to which Harosh pleaded guilty alleged, inter alia, that Harosh defrauded investors and obtained money and property by means of materially false and misleading statements in connection with some of the fraudulent offerings at issue in the Commission's case described above.
In view of the allegations made by the Division of Enforcement, the Commission deems it necessary and appropriate in the public interest that public administrative proceedings be instituted to determine:
A. Whether the allegations set forth in Section II are true and, in connection therewith, to afford Respondents an opportunity to establish any defenses to such allegations; and
B. What, if any, remedial action is appropriate in the public interest against Respondents pursuant to Section 15(b) of the Exchange Act.
IT IS ORDERED that a public hearing for the purpose of taking evidence on the questions set forth in Section III hereof shall be convened at a time and place to be fixed, and before an Administrative Law Judge to be designated by further order as provided by Rule 200 of the Commission's Rules of Practice, 17 C.F.R. § 201.200.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Respondents shall file an Answer to the allegations contained in this Order within twenty (20) days after service of this Order, as provided by Rule 220 of the Commission's Rules of Practice, 17 C.F.R. § 201.220.
If Respondents fail to file the directed answer, or fail to appear at a hearing after being duly notified, the Respondent may be deemed in default and the proceedings may be determined against them upon consideration of this Order, the allegations of which may be deemed to be true as provided by Rules 155(a), 220(f), 221(f) and 310 of the Commission's Rules of Practice, 17 C.F.R. §§ 201.155(a), 201.220(f), 201.221(f) and 201.310.
This Order shall be served forthwith upon Respondents personally or by certified mail.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Administrative Law Judge shall issue an initial decision no later than 210 days from the date of service of this Order, pursuant to Rule 360(a)(2) of the Commission's Rules of Practice.
In the absence of an appropriate waiver, no officer or employee of the Commission engaged in the performance of investigative or prosecuting functions in this or any factually related proceeding will be permitted to participate or advise in the decision of this matter, except as witness or counsel in proceedings held pursuant to notice. Since this proceeding is not "rule making" within the meaning of Section 551 of the Administrative Procedure Act, it is not deemed subject to the provisions of Section 553 delaying the effective date of any final Commission action.
For the Commission, by its Secretary, pursuant to delegated authority.
Jonathan G. Katz
|Home | Previous Page||